How many home runs has Aaron Judge hit so far this season?
The latest iteration of the Bronx Bomber is staking a claim to greatness, leading the MLB in home runs, and reaching a milestone in style
30 is a milestone in baseball. It takes you out of the realm of “having a good year” and places you into the “wow! those are big numbers!” category. 30 stolen bases makes you a larceny specialist, a thief with bad intentions on the bags. And 30 home runs puts you in the running as a power hitter, not someone who got ahold of a few, but in a club where the big dogs swing big lumber.
Aaron Judge was already a member of that last group, with two seasons just under the marker and now three above it. His breakout year in 2017 where he blasted 52 is his high-water mark, but that 30 still divides the table.
Last night, he reached the door and then blew it off the hinges in style, popping his 30th with a grand slam.
The Yankees sauntered into PNC Park to face the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that was a slow burner, staying 0-0 until the top of the fifth. When the pinstripes opened their bats up, though, it brought on an onslaught, with the biggest shots coming in the eighth and ninth, where they scored five and six runs respectively, on their way to a 16-0 trouncing of the hapless Pirates.
In the top of the eighth, facing former Yankee Manny Buñuelos, Judge smacked a grand salami, placing him into rarified air with the organization. Judge has now tied a record set by himself and Alex Rodriguez for the second-most home runs before the All-Star break in Yankee history. If he is to chase Roger Maris’ mark of 33, he has only a week left to do it.
Along with Ken Griffey, Jr., Judge now also becomes the second player in MLB history to have multiple seasons where he hit 30 or more home runs pre-All-Star break.
With Judge the top vote-getter in the American League for the All-Star Game, he is being touted as one of the players with the firmest claim on the AL MVP award, but his sights are still firmly set on October.
The Yankees currently have the strongest record in baseball, with their 59 wins standing six above their nearest rival, the Houston Astros, who have 53. With the way they are playing, it looks like October is a safe bet for Yankee fans to hope.