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Aaron Judge reaches milestone 50th

Aaron judge joins an elite group of players in MLB history with his 50th knock of the season, but it is not enough to see off the Los Angeles Angels

Aaron judge joins an elite group of players in MLB history with his 50th knock of the season, but it is not enough to see off the Los Angeles Angels
Jayne Kamin-OnceaUSA TODAY Sports

When the New York Yankees travelled to Anaheim to face the Angels, there was one game plan on the Halos’ mind: don’t let Aaron Judge have a cut at the ball. Twice he was intentionally walked, but eventually Ryan Tepera threw to the big man. Judge didn’t have to be offered the opportunity twice, taking a slider deep for his 50th home run of the season.

With that blast, Aaron Judge joins an exclusive club of only ten players who have ever hit 50 home runs or better in multiple seasons. Judge is a beast of a man, six-foot-seven, and when he gets ahold of a pitch it is simply awesome to see.

Chasing the Yankees team record of 61 home runs set by Roger Maris back in 1961, Judge looks to be on pace to go two better. While Roger Maris’ son Kevin says that the great man would have been excited to watch Judge hit.

But Aaron Judge sees it differently, saying, “It’s just another number. It’s great, but I’m kind of upset we lost. It’s a close game we could’ve won.’’

And therein lies the dampener to the celebration. Judge is having a career season, while the Yankees sputter into the home straight. Their once seemingly insurmountable lead in the AL East has been cut to only seven games. They come through August having lost 17 games this month, looking for all the world like a gassed heavyweight boxer. They punched big in the first six rounds, and now they are in the tenth just hoping that the ropes can hold their weight.

While it is perhaps disconcerting for Yankee fans, the team has no doubt that if they keep doing what they are doing, and more to the point, if Aaron Judge keeps doing what he is doing, then things will come good. Team mate Giancarlo Stanton is direct, saying, “I think he’s going to do something incredible. He already has. We’ve got a month more to watch. He’s going to help us get some wins, and we’ll be all right.

While the pinstripes have taken some hits to their bullpen, it is the sudden frosting over of their offense that is most concerning. Since the All-Star break, the Yankees are dead last in the majors in slugging at .307, 29th in OPS at .589 and are 27th in the majors in runs scored, with only 44 men crossing the plate.

Before the trade deadline, a lot of the blame for this productivity loss was directed at Joey Gallo, and his resurgence, of a sort, with the Dodgers have had a lot of the west coast crowd making with the guffaws at Yankees expense. But the problems in New York’s hitting go far deeper than one solitary slumping batter. And to be sure, they are more involved than a single booming bat in Aaron Judge.

The Yankees are as close to guaranteed a post season appearance as can be, barring catastrophe. While it is fun to watch the home run chase going on at the moment, Aaron Judge would trade some of those individual rewards for team results.

“We can talk about numbers and all that kind of stuff when the season’s over with. We can review it. But for right now, most important thing for me is getting some wins.”


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