Aaron Judge holds a 20-homer lead over Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez in the AL home run race and he leads Cleveland star Jose Ramirez by 13 in the RBI race.
Judge is locked in a tight race with Boston Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts for the batting average title, the third aspect of the Triple Crown.
Judge will attempt to increase his lead in the batting race Thursday night when the Yankees host Bogaerts and the Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series, their final set of 2022. Judge leads the batting race over Bogaerts .3171 to .3166.
Amid all of that, Judge continues his march to match Roger Maris with home run No. 61.
The last player to get a Triple Crown was Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and he was the first to achieve the feat since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Judge is trying to join Lou Gehrig (1934) and Mickey Mantle (1956) as New York’s third Triple Crown winner.
Judge reached 60 homers Tuesday when he sparked New York’s five-run ninth in a 9-8 win over Pittsburgh. On Wednesday, Judge went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and walked in a 14-2 rout that gave New York (90-58) its 11th win in 15 games.
“Fans packed it out to see us win a ballgame and see some homers,” Judge joked. “So I think I got to cut out this double stuff, I guess.”
Judge extended his on-base streak to 20 games, one shy of his longest on-base streak set April 1-26, 2018. Judge is hitting .472 (34-for-72) with 11 homers and 19 RBIs during the streak.
Judge has been on base multiple times in his past seven games and in 18 of his past 20. The tear has raised his average from .293 to .317.
“To be that far ahead of the field and getting on base at the level he is, pushing for a batting title, playing the kind of all-around game that he is (is special),” New York manager Aaron Boone said.
While the Red Sox (72-76) are playing out the string, Bogaerts is attempting to win Boston’s first batting title since Mookie Betts hit .346 in 2018. Bogaerts was 2-for-4 in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss at Cincinnati and is batting .386 (22-for-57) over his past 15 games.
“I’m aware of it,” Bogaerts said of a possible batting title earlier this week. “A couple weeks back I wasn’t even in the conversation. It’s something within reach.”
Bogaerts is batting .250 (14-for-56) against the Yankees this season and is 5-for-20 lifetime against New York starter Jameson Taillon (13-5, 4.04 ERA). Taillon seeks to match his career-high for wins (14) Thursday, a feat he set in 2018 with Pittsburgh.
Taillon is 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA in his past nine starts. He last pitched Saturday in Milwaukee, when he allowed four runs in five innings. Taillon is 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA in seven career starts against the Red Sox.
Judge is 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts lifetime against Boston starter Michael Wacha (11-1, 2.61 ERA), who is 8-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his past 12 starts. Wacha took a no-decision Friday against Kansas City when he allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings.
Wacha is 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA in nine career appearances (seven starts) against the Yankees. He last faced them Aug. 14 in Boston when he allowed two hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win in his return from missing nearly seven weeks with a shoulder injury.
–Field Level Media