Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit his 58th and 59th home runs of the season on Sunday during the series finale in New York against the Milwaukee Brewers, defeating the Yankees 12-8. Judge is now two home runs away from setting Roger Maris single-season home run records for both the Yankee franchise and the American League as a whole.
Judge entered the court in ninth with a chance to hit his third homer of the game and 60th of the season, but had to settle for a line-driven double off the left field wall. He was 4 for 5 that day with a double, two home runs, four RBIs and three runs. He hits .316/.419/.701 on the season.
The judge’s last outbursts, his first since another Several homer efforts on Sept. 13 were started in the third inning against Brewers rookie right-hander Jason Alexander and then in the seventh against Luis Perdomo. The referee’s first throw, a solo shot, cut the Brewers’ lead to 4-2. (Anthony Rizzo, coming back from the injured list, subsequently hit his own home run, taking the Yankees out in one go.) The referee’s second, also solo, extended the Yankees’ lead to 10-4.
Let’s take a look:
According to Statcast, Judge’s first home run left the bat at 111.6 mph. The ball carried approximately 414 feet. His second home run was 110.3 mph and covered 443 feet.
Judge became the undisputed leader in home runs among big players this season. His 57 home runs were 18 more than any other major tournament player (Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies had 39 earlier in the day). The next closest American League hitter, Jordan Alvarez, woke up Sunday with 37 home runs. As if that wasn’t enough, Judge also has a shot at the AL Triple Crown:
The judge entered Sunday with a .312/.415/.687 (209 OPS+) score and improved that line. According to Baseball Reference, he has contributed 9.2 wins over a substitute this season before Sunday’s pounding. The judge is arguably the favorite for the AL MVP award, depending on how the person in question evaluates their contribution versus that of two-sided Los Angeles Angels player Shohei Otani.
It should be noted that Judge will qualify for free agent status at the end of the season after turning down a long-term offer by the Yankees back in the spring. He is expected to be the best available player in this winter class.
As for the Yankees, Sunday’s victory save snapped a two-game losing streak and – combined with the Blue Jays’ loss – extended their lead in the East to 5 1/2 games.