Aaron Judge keeps doing damage – to opposing pitchers, baseballs and to the Yankees’ $2.3 billion stadium.
The rookie All-Star blasted a home run in the Yankees’ 4-1 loss Tuesday which dented metal atop a gate in center field to the left of Monument Park. The homer had an exit velocity of 118.4 miles per hour, according to Statcast, which is the fourth-hardest homer hit this season; Judge has all of the top four.
In early May during batting practice, Judge destroyed a television in an outfield terrace to the right of the bleachers in left field. Is he expecting a bill for his latest damage?
“I’m still waiting for the bill from the (television,)” Judge joked. “So we’ll see.”
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The Yankee offense did nothing aside from Judge’s home run. Judge himself struck out swinging in his other three at-bats. J.A. Happ challenged Judge on a full count with a 95 mile-an-hour heater when Judge struck out on a foul tip to end the fifth.
“(Happ) was getting up there in pitch count and he’s gonna go after you,” Judge said. “You just can’t miss your pitch. I fouled it right into (Russell) Martin’s glove and he got me that time.”
No matter how rough things have seemed for the Yankees during this stretch of 15 losses in 21 games, Judge has constantly found ways to amaze. He has a major-league best 28 home runs this season, one shy of the Yankees’ rookie record set by Joe DiMaggio in 1936. Judge is one of three rookies ever to hit 28 homers prior to the All-Star break. Mark McGwire hit 33 before the break in 1987, and Jose Abreu had 29 in 2014.
Judge has 32 career homers, the fifth-most through 107 career games in MLB history. His teammate and fellow Home Run Derby contestant Gary Sanchez had 33 through 107 games as did Ryan Braun; Rudy York had 35 and McGwire had 39.
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The homer on Tuesday also extended Judge’s on-base streak to 35 straight starts dating back to May 28, the longest single-season streak by a Yankee since Mark Teixeira reached base in 42 straight starts during the 2010 season. Judge was the DH on Tuesday as Joe Girardi seeks to rotate his outfielders. Clint Frazier started in right field.
Judge could very well get a bill from the Marlins if he puts on the dazzling display many are expecting next Tuesday at the Derby in Miami.
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