PITTSBURGH — Aaron Judge reached a crowning achievement turning point marker Wednesday, and he did it in grand style.
The Yankees’ center fielder, who leads the Major Leagues in crowning achievement, extended his overall even more with a torched grand slam in the 8th inning versus previous New York colleague Manny Bañuelos in a 16-0 win over the Pirates. It was Judge’s 30th dinger of the season, and it put him in elite business amongst the Yankees’ storied ranks.
With the slam, Judge connected Alex Rodriguez (2007) and, well, himself (‘17) for the second-most home runs before the All-Star break in Yankees history. Roger Maris’ 33 homers in 1961 still stands as the record to beat. (Babe Ruth struck 32 in 3 seasons — ‘21, ‘28 and ‘30 — however all came prior to the very first All-Star Game in ‘33.)
Judge is likewise the 3rd gamer in American League history with numerous seasons of 30 or more homers prior to the All-Star break, signing up with Ken Griffey Jr. (‘94, ‘97 and ‘98) and Mark McGwire (’87 and ’97).
“I turned to [bench coach Carlos Mendoza] about an inning later and said, ‘He’s got 30 homers,’” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone stated. “Yeah, it’s hard for me to relate to that. It’s been pretty impressive halfway in here, the kind of baseball he’s playing, and obviously the power has been right there.”
This dinger was no wall-scraper either. Judge bent his muscle to power the baseball 114.7 miles per hour off the bat, sending it over PNC Park’s left-field wall a Statcast-predicted 419 feet. It put the Yankees up by 9 runs as they continued their historical run through the 2022 season.
Judge has actually currently swung his method into the 2022 All-Star Game, thanks to being the leading vote-getter in the AL in the very first stage of All-Star ballot, however his sights are still on the larger photo of betting October.
“I’m glad it came in a win,” Judge stated. “I think that’s what’s more important here, with the way this team has been rolling.”