Aaron Judge scripts Yankees May for the ages, sets dream standards

Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts after hitting a homer against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium Thursday, May 23, 2024, in New York.
John Allen
Friday May 24, 2024

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Aaron Judge added a new chapter to his blistering May on Thursday as the Yankees slugger belted his 15th home run of the season, helping propel his team to a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The superstar slugger has been on a tear, slashing .391/.533/.932 this month to boost his overall OPS to 1.027, fourth-best in the majors. Yankees manager Aaron Boone marveled at Aaron Judge’s recent production, noting he had surpassed the 1.000 OPS mark during the game.

Boone told bench coach Brad Ausmus in the middle of the contest that Aaron Judge had crossed the vaunted threshold. The Yankees manager praised the captain’s patient approach, saying he was taking “great at-bat after great at-bat” and calling his performance “as good as it gets.”

“He’s seeing it right and taking the right swings and he was all over it again today,” the manager said. “Great at-bat after great at-bat. As good as it gets.”

Aaron Judge reached base safely in all four plate appearances, including two walks and an RBI double in the seventh inning. His third-inning blast off Luis Castillo’s 2-0 offering left him just two homers shy of the major league lead.

Yankees' Aaron Judge rounds bases after a homer against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium Thursday, May 23, 2024, in New York.

Aaron Judge leading the Yankees’ charge

The 31-year-old outfielder has nine home runs over his last 17 games after a relatively slow start in April when he batted .220. With Aaron Judge heating up, the first-place Yankees have gone 16-5 in May heading into a nine-game West Coast road trip beginning Friday in San Diego.

He entered Thursday at .510 OBP, 10 2B, 10 HR in 24 games. This puts Aaron Judge at par with Babe Ruth’s historical exploits in 1921 and 1924, Lou Gehrig’s 1936 season, and Joe DiMaggio’s blistering performance in 1937.

While capable of carrying the lineup alone for stretches, the Yankees are formidable when Aaron Judge combines with other sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton, who also went deep Thursday. In Wednesday’s win, Judge and Juan Soto hit three homers between them as the heart of New York’s order flexed its muscle.

Despite splitting a four-game series against the Mariners and sweeping a three-game set versus the White Sox, Aaron Judge acknowledged there is room for improvement for the Yankees.

A couple of things didn’t go our way in this series,” he said. “We’ll tighten some things up, but the thing I love about this team is, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, or if we’re down in the game or up in the game, everybody’s always on top of the game and ready to compete. So we expect to go out there and compete on the West Coast against some great teams and we’ll see what happens.”

Aaron Judge expressed confidence in the Yankees competing on their upcoming West Coast trip against formidable teams, saying “We’ll see what happens.”


Giancarlo Stanton also homered off Luis Castillo, taking the Mariners’ starter deep to lead off the second inning for his 12th long ball of the season. It marked the 40th game, including playoffs, in which Aaron Judge and Stanton have gone deep in the same contest – the fifth-most in franchise history.

The Yankees’ record stands at 36-4 in such games after the duo surpassed Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez for sixth on the team’s all-time list. They trail only Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth (75), Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle (56), Ruth and Bob Meusel (47), and Mantle and Roger Maris (43).

With his homer, Stanton also tied Darrell Evans for 54th on MLB’s all-time home run list with 414, leaving him 17 shy of cracking the top 50 currently occupied by Edwin Encarnacion‘s 424 career blasts.

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