Aaron Judge joins Babe Ruth in setting up another Yankees milestone

Aaron Judge hits his 30th HR of the season against the Mets at Citi Field on June 26, 2024.
Inna Zeyger
Thursday June 27, 2024

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The New York Yankees are facing a setback 12-2 rain-delayed loss at Citi Field but their captain Aaron Judge continues to shine. In Wednesday’s game, the slugger hit his 30th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Danny Young. This was Aaron Judge’s second homer in the two-game series against the Mets, following a grand slam in Tuesday’s loss. This milestone ties him with Bernie Williams for the seventh-most home runs in Yankees franchise history, at 287.

However, he achieved something far bigger than Bernie. Aaron Judge’s feat places him alongside Babe Ruth as the only Yankees to hit 30 home runs before July. Additionally, he joins Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. as one of the few players in MLB history to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break three times in his career. Aaron Judge also becomes the seventh player in MLB history, and the first since Chris Davis in 2013, to record 30 home runs and 75 RBIs before July.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed amazement at Aaron Judge’s recent performances, remarking on the difficulty of finding new ways to describe the slugger’s achievements.

“It’s hard to wrap your brain around now, just what level he’s playing at,” Boone said before the game. “Especially in this time of the game, where it’s really hard to hit. We’re at about a .700 OPS league average probably right now, and to see him [100] points higher than Ohtani, and that’s off the heels of a rough April. It’s just really impressive.”

Aaron Judge hits his 30th HR of the season against the Mets at Citi Field on June 26, 2024.

But when asked about these milestones, the Yankees captain downplayed their significance, emphasizing the team’s focus on the remainder of the season.

“It’s great, but nothing to really focus on,” Aaron Judge said. “We got a season ahead of us, a lot of ballgames ahead of us.”

In Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets, Aaron Judge went 2-for-2 with a walk, marking his 20th multi-hit game since early May. Alongside teammate Juan Soto, the slugger was responsible for seven of the Yankees’ nine runs in their two losses to the Mets, underscoring the offensive struggles of the rest of the lineup, particularly against left-handed pitching.

Aaron Judge’s night was cut short in the eighth inning when Boone replaced him with a pinch-hitter as the Yankees trailed 11-2. When asked about the decision, he expressed his desire to bat in every situation but respectfully deferred to Boone’s judgment.

“I want every at-bat,” Aaron Judge said. “The game is never over. So I want every at-bat, but I’m not the manager. He makes the call, and I wasn’t upset at all.”

Aaron Judge matches the 2022 record pace

New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge is replicating his historic 2022 performance, matching his 30-home run tally through the first 80 games of the season. Today, he has 30 homers after 80 games and these were exact numbers he had in 80 games two seasons ago. This impressive feat was highlighted in Wednesday’s game against the New York Mets at Citi Field, despite the Yankees’ 12-2 loss.

Aaron Judge and his Yankees teammates are training at Citi Field on June 25, 2024.
Bryan Hoch

His sixth-inning blast, a two-run homer off Danny Young’s sweeper, left his bat at 112.3 mph. This marked Aaron Judge’s fifth home run in eight games and ninth in 15 games. The shot also tied him with Bernie Williams for seventh place on the Yankees’ all-time home run list with 287.

Currently leading the American League in home runs, RBIs (77) and OPS (1.145), Judge’s performance is outpacing even other elite players. His OPS is 100 points higher than Shohei Ohtani’s 1.045. Since May 1, he has been on a torrid streak, hitting .379 with a 1.412 OPS, 24 home runs, and 17 doubles over 49 games. His season stats now stand at .309/.433/.712 with 60 walks in 80 games.

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