Aaron Judge roars back: Yankees star smashes first HR since June 3

Yankees' star Aaron Judge scoring a home run.
Ron Jenkins

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New York Yankees star outfielder, Aaron Judge, made a triumphant return from the injured list on Friday night. Although he went 0 for 1 at the plate, he showed remarkable patience, drawing three walks in the game against the Baltimore Orioles, unfortunately ending in a loss. But it was on Saturday that Judge truly announced his comeback, crushing his 20th home run of the season and granting the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the third inning.

The sheer power behind Judge’s hit was evident as Statcast recorded an impressive 111.6 mph exit velocity, and the ball traveled an astonishing 442 feet. In fact, according to their estimates, it would have been a home run in any of the 30 Major League parks.

This marked Judge’s first home run since June 3rd, when he suffered a toe ligament injury, forcing him to miss over a month and a half of action. Despite the pain, he has vowed to continue playing, though he may require offseason surgery to fully recover. One can’t help but think that the baseball he sent sailing on Saturday night might need some recovery time as well.

Aaron Judge during the Yankees vs Orioles game, on Friday night, July 28, 2023
Bob Carr

As the reigning American League Most Valuable Player Award winner, Judge has been a significant force in the Yankees’ lineup. Entering Saturday’s game, he boasted an impressive batting line of .290/.410/.670 (193 OPS+) with 19 home runs, 40 RBIs, and three stolen bases (on four attempts). His overall contributions have been invaluable, amounting to an estimated 2.5 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference.

The Yankees, currently with a record of 54-49, found themselves in an unfavorable position, situated at the bottom of the AL East standings as the weekend commenced. Engulfed in a crucial 10-game stretch, they faced the Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, and Houston Astros – all formidable teams likely to make the playoffs if the season ended that day.

In contrast, the Yankees’ postseason spot was uncertain, trailing the Toronto Blue Jays by 3 ½ games for the third and final AL wild card position as of Saturday. The team faces intense competition as they fight to secure a spot in the playoffs.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Aaron Judge roars back: Yankees star smashes first HR since June 3

  1. Nice to see our Captain back in the field and especially back in the batter’s box.
    Hopefully he can wake the rest of the Yankees lineup from their coma and we can make a run at the playoffs.
    Great to have you back, Mr. Judge!

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