Rizzo marvels at Yankees’ ‘middle of greatness’ thanks to Judge’s scorching May

Aaron Judge reacts during the Yankees game against the Giants at Oracle Park on June 2, 2024.

Table of Contents

The Yankees may not be surprised by Aaron Judge‘s consistent power, but they are still in awe of his performance. Their captain ended a stellar May by hitting two home runs against the Giants on Friday night in San Francisco.

Throughout May, Judge posted a .371 batting average with a 1.415 OPS, hitting 14 home runs and 12 doubles over 28 games. The Yankees slugger drew 22 walks, and an impressive 26 of his 36 hits were for extra bases, tying Babe Ruth for the third-most extra-base hits in a month in Yankees history. Joe DiMaggio (31 in 1937) and Lou Gehrig (29 in 1930) hold the top spots.

Teammate Anthony Rizzo remarked that the team is “in the middle of greatness” and encouraged everyone to “appreciate it.”

“Appreciate it, because we’re in the middle of greatness,” he said

Manager Aaron Boone admitted it’s “hard to wrap your brain around” Judge’s 26 extra-base hits, adding that it is “just fun to get to watch,” even as Judge’s incredible feats become almost routine. The Yankees manager highlighted Judge’s consistency, noting that it reflects “who he is as a person, as a player, and the way he goes about it.”

“You think you’d stop being surprised, but it is impressive what he did,” Boone said. “Twenty-six extra-base hits [in May]? I mean, it’s hard to wrap your brain around that, what he’s doing. He just kind of does his thing. He’s so consistent with who he is as a person, as a player and the way he goes about it. It’s just fun to get to watch it.”

aaron-judge-new-york-yankees
X-NYY

Judge, for his part, has downplayed the historic month. On Thursday, the Yankees superstar referred to it as a “good month” but quickly shifted focus to his goal of replicating the performance in June, maintaining his characteristic calm and steady demeanor.

Yankees on a roll thanks to Aaron Judge

Despite Judge downplaying his exceptional May, his Yankees teammates are eager to celebrate his achievements. Pitcher Marcus Stroman acknowledged that the team sometimes takes Judge’s greatness for granted, remarking, “Witnessing what he’s accomplished is truly historic.”

Stroman remarked that it was amazing to witness what Judge had been able to do, noting that it was a pretty historic run that sometimes might be taken for granted.

Judge in May
Games152
Batting average0.325
On-base percentage0.427
Slugging percentage0.698
OPS1.125
Home runs56
RBIs124

Manager Boone echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that Judge’s excellence should never be taken for granted, even as the superstar continues to set new standards. Reflecting on Judge’s pursuit of 62 home runs last year, the Yankees skipper admitted that little surprises him anymore. “Whenever he does something unprecedented or extraordinary, it doesn’t shock me because I know how talented he is. When he’s in the zone, it’s on a different level,” Boone said.

Judge’s incredible May is even more impressive considering his slow start to the season and the overall decline in offensive numbers league-wide. Entering Saturday, other prominent sluggers like Bryce Harper, Pete Alonso, Yordan Alvarez, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Rafael Devers had yet to reach the combined totals of 14 home runs and 12 doubles that Judge achieved in May.

The Yankees captain joined an elite group in May, becoming only the second player in MLB history to record 14 home runs and 12 doubles in a single month, a feat previously achieved by Albert Belle in August 1995.

Yankees' star Aaron Judge rounds bases after hitting a mammoth 460-feet home run at Oracle Park against the Giants on June 1, 2024.
NYY

Teammate Anthony Rizzo lauded Judge’s remarkable month, highlighting that Alex Verdugo commented it would be considered “a great season for many players.” Rizzo noted that despite a slower start in April by Judge’s standards, the game balances out over time, emphasizing the importance of the full 162-game season. “This is why we play 162. So hopefully he just keeps going,” the Yankees first baseman said.

Rizzo underscored Judge’s crucial role, stating, “As he goes, we go.” Indeed, the Yankees posted a 21-7 record in May during Judge’s impressive run.

The only other time the Yankees captain hit at least 14 homers in a month was in September 2017, when he smashed 15 en route to his AL Rookie of the Year honor with 52 home runs. Notably, Judge did not reach 14 homers in any single month during his record-setting 62-homer season in 2022.

While Judge still aims to replicate his 2022 consistency, he entered June leading MLB with 20 home runs, projecting him on pace for 55 over the season.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!