Aaron Judge Continues Magical Season

By Terrance Turner

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 29: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees reacts after his eighth inning grand slam home run as MJ Melendez #1 of the Kansas City Royals looks at Yankee Stadium on July 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

May 23, 2022 (updated June 11, July 30)

New York YankeesNew York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has done it again.

Judge smashed a two-run homer in today’s match against the Kansas City Royals, his 42nd home run this season and the 200th homer of his career. It’s only the latest highlight in a stellar weekend. With the Yankees 7-5 in the eighth inning of last night’s game against the Kansas City Royals, Judge hit a grand slam to put his team ahead 11-5. It was his 41st home run of the year:

Judge is on pace for 66 home runs, which would top Roger Maris’ club record of 61 in 1961. Judge, Maris and Babe Ruth in 1928 are the only Yankees with at least 40 homers by the end of July, per MLB.com.

Judge’s hitting streak has helped carry the Yankees through game after game. In last week’s match against the New York Mets — which has been dubbed the “Subway Series” — Judge led off the scoring with a solo home run to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

This score comes just two days after Judge hit his 37th home run — and fourth in five games out of the All-Star break — in the third inning of Sunday’s 6-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles, extending his lead in MLB‘s home run race to seven over Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber., according to The Athletic. This only continues a magical hitting streak for Judge, who leads the league in homers.

This time last month, Judge had a magical weekend.

On June 23 — the night before a meeting with the Yankees to negotiate his pay — Judge hit a walkoff single to break a tie with the Houston Astros and win the game for the Yankees. After trailing the Astros 6-3, Giancarlo Stanton ended a historic hitless drought for New York with a one-out, 111 mph homer in the seventh inning, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a tying two-run drive in the eighth.

The game went into overtime still tied 6-6, and in the 10th inning Judge hit a walkoff home run to seal the Yankees’ 7-6 win. The next day, he and the Yankees agreed on a one-year, $19 million deal after weeks of disputing his salary. (The deal includes a $250,000 incentive if he wins league MVP).

Though the Astros won on both Friday and Saturday (and on Saturday, Christian Javier pitched the first no-hitter against the Yankees since 2003), the Yankees bounced back. On Sunday, June 26, after being down 3-0, they rallied to tie the game and send it into overtime. In the tenth inning, Judge stepped up to bat and made magic yet again, slamming a three-run homer to win the game. The Yankees won 6-3.

Judge hit his 23rd and 24th home runs of the MLB season weeks ago, further extending his lead as the league’s leader in homers. In their game against the Chicago Cubs, Judge got the scoring started by smashing a fly ball to center field in the bottom of the first inning. He struck again in the fourth inning, whacking a homer to left center field:

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Judge’s two home runs that night were among a slew of scores for the Yankees. The team hit six solo home runs, tied for most in a single game this season. They easily defeated the Cubs in an 8-0 win. It was their 10th win in the last 11 games.

Judge hit his 22nd home run of the season on June 7. As the Yankees opened their game against the Minnesota Twins, Judge went up to bat in the first inning. After two balls and two strikes, Judge smashed a two-run homer to center field to put the Yankees ahead 2-0:

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The home run was the 22nd of Judge’s season. He hit his 21st in a game versus the Detroit Tigers — a first-pitch leadoff — in the Yankees’ 3-0 victory against the Tigers on June 4. He notched his 20th home run the day before (also against the Tigers). He has an MLB-best .679 slugging percentage, with the next-best mark being .642 from the Cleveland Guardians’ Jose Ramirez. He also leads the majors in OPS (1.059) and wRC+ (200), according to The Comeback.

Judge previously hit a scorcher HR against the Angels (No. 19) and a deep-center homer (No. 18) versus the Tampa Bay Rays. In a Yankees game against the Baltimore Orioles, Judge crushed a solo home run to center field and opened the scoring at 1-0 in the bottom of the 1st. Then, with the Yankees down 4-2 against the Baltimore Orioles, Judge hit a two-run homer to tie the game.

This was the 17th home run of the season for Judge. No other MLB player had more than 12.

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Judge hit a moonshot in the bottom of the eighth inning of New York’s game against the White Sox yesterday — his 15th. He smashed his 13th and 14th home runs of the season on May 17. In the Yankees’ game against the Baltimore Orioles, Judge belted a solo home run to center field, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead over the Orioles in the top of the 3rd inning. Then, in the fifth inning, he homered again, hitting a 422-foot blast to center field. That tied the game at 3.

Judge has been on a tear lately. After teammate Giancarlo Stanton smacked a two-run drive in the first inning against Vince Velasquez (2-3) and the Yankees scored three more runs in the second, Judge made it 6-0 with a solo moon shot in the fourth — his 12th home run — and the Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox 10-4 on May 13.

Judge hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning and the New York Yankees rallied for a comeback win, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on May 10 in the Bronx. In the ninth inning, pitcher Jordan Romano faced Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge. (Yankees catcher Jose Trevino was on first base; DJ LeMahieu was on second.) The first pitch was a slider for a strike. Another slider led to strike two. Judge swung at a fastball, hitting it foul. Then, after another foul, he finally connected. Judge smashed a massive 450-foot three-run homer — the first walk-off home run of his career.

It made him the first MLB player to reach double-digit home runs. Now, he leads the league with 42.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 23: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates his home run during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles with teammate Giancarlo Stanton #27 at Yankee Stadium on May 23, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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