Thursday, February 9, 2023

Aaron Judge sets new single-season high with 53rd home run; Yankees star just eight behind Roger Maris

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New York Yankees‘ slugger Aaron Judge on Sunday hit his second home run in as many days against the Tampa Bay Rays, and in doing so upped his total for the season to a career-best 53 homers. Judge’s latest blast also means he’s now just eight home runs from tying Roger Maris’ 1961 franchise and American League record of 61 homers in a season. 

The home run on Sunday, which came in the first inning, means that Judge is now on pace for 64 this season. Here’s a look: 

Judge, batting leadoff in Aaron Boone’s lineup, sent that 1-0 Shawn Armstrong sinker 450 feet, and it left the bat at 115.3 mph. Like most Judge clouts, there was nothing cheap about it. It’s also Judge’s fourth home run in his last six games. 

While Judge is customarily hot, the remainder of the Yankee bats are not, broadly speaking. Coming into Sunday’s series finale, the Yankees had managed a total of just three runs over their previous three games. Thanks in part to their recent struggles — they’ve dropped six of seven — their once-secure lead in the American League East is now down to just four games. As recently as July 8, the Yankees held a 15 1/2-game lead in the division. Judge has certainly done his part and then some, but he needs help if the Yankees are going to avoid a legendary collapse. 

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