Aaron Judge has already done innumerable works with the Yankees.
After beating his 16th and 17th home runs of the season on Monday night, he reached another impressive feat, something that Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Reggie Jackson have never done.
With 17 homers in the team’s first 42 games, Judge joined a special list. Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez and Tino Martinez are the only other bombers to have scored 17 home runs in the team’s first 42 matches of a season.
The 17 round-trippers also give the judge the current Major League lead. Entering Tuesday, the next closest player is Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who has 12. Judge is also hitting .325 – well above his career average of .279 – and is only behind Mike Trout for the league lead in Ops. By Vince Above Replacement, Manny Machado has only been better this season.
With two home runs, three RBIs and a walk on Monday, the judge’s night was better than a few hitters in a week. No one understands how hot she is like the men who dugout with her, and they’re just as dumb as the rest of us. When asked about the current run that the judge is on (he has a .829 slugging percentage in the month of May, winning 11 homers in 20 games), Gerrit Cole couldn’t hold back an appreciative smile.
Cole said of the judge’s approach to the plate, “Sometimes I feel like he’s salivating for something, gets it, and drills it.” “And then sometimes I feel like he’s just a good baseball player, staying in the middle, and then practicing that way.”
Of his 49 hits, 24 are singles, eight are doubles, and 17 have cleared the wall, with six going to the right or right-center field.
“He’s not looking for slugs all the time, he’s just putting better swing on the balls that guys are throwing,” Cole said.
“It’s really special,” said Aaron Boone, repeating that sentence a couple of times. “I take him lightly sometimes, I guess. But not now. He’s taking us really aggressively right now.”
The Yankees have hit their first true hurdle of the year, not only losing three games in a row for the first time in 2022, but also losing several key players. They, barring a medical miracle, will not be able to get back Chad Green, indispensable reliever from Tommy John surgery, for at least 12 months. Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Loisiga, the two men they are looking for stability in the back end of the bullpen, have been treated very mercilessly by the opposing hitters. Injured pitchers Domingo German and Jack Britton have not pitched for the Bombers this entire season.
And on the heels of their “Jackie” saga — which certainly hit the clubhouse, even if the Yankees decimated it — Josh Donaldson added Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka to the COVID injured list on Monday. Joined.
In other words, the Yankees aren’t at full force yet. Isiah Kiner-Falefa were forced to move up to fifth place on Monday night, with three of their regular-placed players moving to COVID IL in the same week. The shortstop, known for his gloves, had not started a single game for the Yankees above seventh place until this avalanche began.
It offers a perfect example of why the neck-and-neck judge gets so much help with Trout in the opening race for American League MVP. Adding to the list of staggering judge figures, he is the only player in franchise history to have made nine three-RBI appearances in the team’s first 42 matches. He is the second player to play four multi-homer games in the first 42, an honor he shares with Ruth.
“I got a job to do at the top of the lineup,” Judge said. “I got a lot of great hitters around me, which made my job a lot easier.”
In 2017, the judge’s best full season in the major leagues, the safety immediately following him in the lineup was often Matt Holiday, Didi Gregorius and/or Starlin Castro. As a result, the judge ran an 18.7% walk rate, the tenth highest of any qualified Yankee hitter in the unification era. Teams rarely had the incentive to pitch them, as they knew that the quality of the Bombers lineup had fallen as soon as they came out of the box.
Now, as the judges settle into a two-hole with Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton, the price of following them usually goes up to number 99 faster. Teams can’t pitch around him as much as they did before, and because of that, the judges are running 11.0% of the time they come to bat this season. This is a good thing for the Yankees in many ways. First off, an 11% walk rate is still elite (the league average is 8.5 percent right now), but the Yankees will also definitely want to see him walk around all four bases, not just one of them.
Getting more pitches to hit your best player is a delicious recipe for success and one of many reasons the team came up with the second-best overall offense in the AL on Tuesday, trailing only the Trout Angels.
If the judges continue at this pace, the Yankees won’t be far behind any team, whether it’s on the statistical leaderboard, on the scoreboard during a game, or in the fight for baseball’s best record.