Aaron Judge is on another level this season, but could the Yankees slugger reach this level?
You know the one I’m talking about.
Yeah. It’s July 30, there are about 60 games left in the regular season, and we’re getting dangerously close to Barry Bonds territory for Judge.
Bonds hit 73 homers in 2001 – you know, the golden age of baseball when the juice was flowing and balls were leaving the park at record highs?
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) July 24, 2020
Well, thanks to his two-home run game Friday against Kansas City, including a game-opening grand slam, Judge finished Friday at 41 bombs. As the mad Bronx bomber that he is, Judge then hit his 42nd homer of the season in the second inning of the team’s Saturday afternoon game.
According to MLB judge Home Run Tracker (yes, it does), he was on pace at 66 home runs on Saturday, which would top Roger Maris (61) for most in team history. Thanks to another tater, he increased that pace to 67.
Sixty-seven longballs would certainly be impressive and would beat Sammy Sosa to become the third-most in a single season (Sosa did it in the 1998 ELECTRIC season), but it would still be just short of Bonds’ 73 mark. .
Mark McGwire is second on the all-time single-season list with 70, which he also did in that 1998 season.
So, while Judge is in the middle of a legendary campaign, he needs to pick up the pace a bit if he wants to make history. He may also have received the message.
He’s only played two games since July 21 without a bomb and hit nine homers in the past 10 days.
Taking a quick trip down memory lane, Bonds hit the No. 41 home run on July 18, 2001, which was Game No. 95 of the season for the Giants.
However, a cold streak followed and Bonds did not reach 42nd until July 26 (he hit two that day and came in at 43). Thus, Bonds’ 42nd longball of the season came in Game 103 for the Giants.
Well, Aaron Judge hit his 42nd home run in Game 102 for the Yanks.
Bonds finished July with 44 home runs, which will be hard for Judge to match, but don’t exceed him. And, if anything, he’ll be just two steps off the pace, max, by the end of the month.
Mark McGwire’s 70 circuits in 1998
– FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 15, 2020
The Yankees are playing the 16th toughest schedule the rest of the way, so the opportunity to make up ground will be there. A seven-game West Coast swing at the end of August against the A’s and Angels looks like a good week to circle, for what it’s worth.
Barring injury — or rest, which the Yankees could do with Judge considering they lead the division by a billion games — the 30-year-old should give Bonds a run for his money.
At the very least, Judge should set the Yankees’ all-time record by passing Maris in mid-September.
And hey, he can always ask teammate Giancarlo Stanton about the art of pursuit. Remember, Stanton hit 59 bombs in 2017 as a member of the Miami Marlins, who is tied with a guy named Babe Ruth for ninth place all-time.
OK, go on with your day. Here are some Barry Bonds bombshells on your way.