Aaron Judge’s power show only piles up the misery of peeved Giants

New York Yankees' star Aaron Judge ranks first in OPS in 2024
Michael Bennington
Sunday June 2, 2024

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Aaron Judge continued to torment his hometown fans, launching a 464-foot, two-run homer in the first inning to propel the Yankees to a 7-3 victory over the Giants on Saturday night. His towering shot set the tone for another standout performance against the team he grew up supporting in the Bay Area, a team he rejected as a free agent last offseason to stay with the Yankees.

Aaron Judge’s early homer gave the Yankees a lead they never relinquished. The Giants’ fans, who hold a long-standing animosity towards their rivals, booed Judge loudly and labeled him “gutless” for choosing New York over San Francisco. However, their disdain only seemed to motivate him further.

Following his two-homer performance in Friday’s 6-2 Yankees win, Aaron Judge continued to excel in the cold conditions. He was intentionally walked during a New York rally and later sparked another scoring drive with an infield single, helping to secure the game.

Coming off a scorching May, Aaron Judge maintained his momentum at the ballpark he frequented as a youth. His latest display of power further disappointed the fanbase he turned down when he chose to re-sign with the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract.

With this victory, New York improved to 41-19 and secured another series win, their 15th out of the season’s first 19 series—marking only the sixth time in franchise history the Yankees have achieved such a milestone.

Saturday night Aaron Judge, spurred by the presence of family and friends, aimed to “put on a show” following his 14-homer performance in May.

Aaron Judge found himself in an 0-2 count before fouling off three consecutive pitches and then crushing a low changeup for his ninth first-inning homer this season. This early blast gave the Yankees a lead they never surrendered.

New York extended their lead in the third inning. During this rally, Webb opted to intentionally walk Aaron Judge with a runner on third and one out, a move reminiscent of the treatment once given to Barry Bonds. Webb later struck out Judge in the fifth with another runner on third.

In his final at-bat, Aaron Judge singled, finishing the game 2 for 3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Logan Webb, who had only given up four earned runs in five home starts this season, allowed that many in seven innings against the Yankees’ potent lineup led by Aaron Judge.

Yankees' stars Aaron Judge and Juan Soto lead MLB in OPS

Aaron Judge’s hot streak at another level

The Yankees slugger has been on fire, leading Webb to acknowledge, “You can’t throw pitches in the heart of the plate” against his scorching bat, which is hitting .329 with 46 RBIs.

“He’s an MVP for a reason,” Webb said. “You can’t throw pitches in the heart of the plate. That’s just kind of the name of the game.”

Aaron Judge continued his assault on the Giants, adding two more home runs to his tally, giving him six homers and 12 RBIs through the first eight games of the Yankees’ California road trip.

Manager Aaron Boone observed that Aaron Judge appeared to be performing “at another level” during games in San Diego and Anaheim, and now in San Francisco, where Boone noted the slugger seemed particularly eager to play. Boone commented that Judge’s recent performances align with his ongoing hot streak.

“He’s in such a good place,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The difference between him and most other guys is, when guys get hot and hit it off the barrel, they rack up some hits. When he gets hot and hits it off the barrel, it’s in the seats. It’s fun to keep watching that.”

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge reacts after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Friday, May 31, 2024.

Aaron Judge has now reached base in 28 consecutive games, displaying the same locked-in focus he had during his record-setting 62-homer season in 2022. Teammate Giancarlo Stanton remarked that this recent surge is “on par” with the captain’s most impressive stretches from that historic year.

“There were runs in that ’22 season that were pretty wild, but this one is on par with that,” Stanton said. “He’s zoning guys up. They’re giving him their best stuff. He’s unfazed by all those, finding a way to square it up in big spots and important times for the team.”

Aaron Judge is currently hitting .329 with 21 homers and 46 RBIs, bolstering the MLB-leading Yankees (41-19). He has an ominous warning, “We’re just getting started, we’ll talk at the end of June.”

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