Can reigning AL home run king Aaron Judge (New York Yankees) win a second straight title?
With his recent explosion of home runs, the question is whether or not he can repeat as the AL’s home run leader this season as he did last year.
On April 24 (ET), Judge blasted three home runs in a 9-1 victory over the Washington Nationals at Yankee Stadium, ending the team’s nine-game losing streak.
Judge took an 84.4 mph fastball from Washington left-hander Mackinzie Gore over the center field fence in the bottom of the first inning. In his second at-bat of the inning, he hit a grand slam. With two outs, he took Gore’s second 94.4-mph fastball over the center field fence. It had a 33-degree launch angle, 112.8 mph, and 437 feet of travel. Then in the seventh, he crushed a 95.3-mph fastball from left-hander Jose Ferrer over the right-field fence. The three home runs tied his career high with six RBIs in a single game.
It was the first time Jersey, who made his major league debut in 2016, has hit three arches in a game. He had 11 two-homer games last year when he set the AL record for most home runs in a single season with 62. After returning from a toe injury on March 29, Judge had eight homers in his previous 22 games. But he’s hit five in his last five games. In other words, his long ball has come alive as the heat has cooled down.
He now has 27 home runs on the season, 17 more than Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani hit his 44th of the season in the first inning of game one of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. He passed Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves for sole possession of the home run lead in both leagues.
No matter how explosive Jersey’s home run arsenal is, it won’t be enough to catch up to Ohtani given the number of games remaining, but that’s what makes the home run race so intriguing: the question of how many chases can be made. After starting Game 1, Ohtani left the game complaining of elbow pain and was diagnosed with elbow ligament damage.
He won’t be able to pitch anymore this year, and it’s unclear if he’ll ever be able to get back to full strength as a hitter. Second in the AL in home runs is the Chicago White Sox’s Louis Robert Jr. with 33. He’s just six behind Judge.카지노사이트
Interestingly, there are two current Yankees players with three home runs in a game before Judge. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Higashioka. Rizzo hit three homers against the Baltimore Orioles on April 26 of last year. Higashioka hit three home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 17, 2020.
Because of this, Jersey was often teased by both players as “the hitter who never hit three home runs.” After the game, he said, “They’ve always said that to me. They used to tease me that I could hit two every game, but I couldn’t hit three,” he says with a smile, “and then they said, ‘The way you’ve been hitting lately, I think you’re going to be one of us.'”
It’s been 18 years since a Yankees player hit three home runs in a game, including a grand slam, since Alex Rodriguez did it on April 27, 2005, against the Angels. He’s also only the third player in history to hit three home runs to lead his team to victory when the team has lost nine or more straight games, joining Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves in 1952 and Freddie Patek of the California Angels in 1980.