Aaron Judge joins Babe Ruth in Yankees’ history books with latest multi-HR game – New York Post
Aaron Judge wasn’t about to leave any more fly balls on the warning track.
One night after he came off the bench and fell just short of hitting a game-tying ninth-inning home run on the first pitch he saw, Judge left nothing uncertain Wednesday with the two balls he deposited into the seats to add to his MLB-leading total and power the Yankees to a 5-4 road victory against the Rays.
It was the 22nd multi-home run game of Judge’s career and marked the third straight time that he has homered twice in his first game after a day off. The value of rest is showing up, but the Yankees aren’t about to start giving the American League MVP front-runner extra days off.
Judge joined Babe Ruth (1928) as the only Yankees with six multi-home run games in the first 70 games of a season. With 27 home runs, Judge is on pace to hit 63, which would top Ruth’s single-season career high of 60 and Roger Maris’ Yankees record of 61 in 1961.
Judge started the comeback from a 3-0 deficit with a home run off a flat slider leading off the fourth, but he actually failed in a bigger spot one inning later. Stunning as it was given the season Judge is having and the pressure on Rays starter Shane Baz after loading the bases with one out to generate action in the bullpen, Judge chased a 3-2 curveball in the dirt and struck out. The Yankees failed to score and trailed 4-1.
Judge led off the seventh by turning on a hanging inside curveball to draw the Yankees to within 4-3. The moonshot cleared the in-play catwalk atop Tropicana Field and left awestruck teammates’ mouths hanging open in the dugout.
Redemption came quickly.
Judge’s two home runs traveled 396 and 406 feet, respectively, and the second jumped off the bat at 109 miles per hour. So much for that “warning-track power” he showed in his only at-bat Tuesday when the Yankees lost 5-4.
Judge’s bid for a three-hit night in the eighth was stolen when his sharp grounder in the shortstop hole went from a single to a fielder’s choice. Taylor Walls made a full-extension dive, snared the ball with his backhand, hopped to one knee and fired accurately to second base.
It should be a fitting message to send to the arbiters who will decide on Judge’s 2022 salary during a hearing Friday, when the Yankees’ offer of $17 million is pitted against Judge’s asking price of $21 million.
Except the problem for the slugging center fielder is nothing that has happened this season can be factored into the decision, as the panel will be like a jury in a high-profile case asked (somewhat naively) to stay ignorant to daily headlines.