Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hits the 58th and 59th homers and moves within two of the American League record

MILWAUKEE — Yankees star Aaron Judge had perhaps the best game of his historic season on Sunday, hitting two home runs, a double and a single, leading in four runs and setting himself up to break the league’s single-season home run record. American League at home this week.

Judge, as he is wont to do, played down his individual effort in the Yankees’ 12-8 win over the Brewers, saying, “We’ve got some big games coming up. That’s really the only thing I’m thinking right now.”

But around the Yankees clubhouse, all anyone could do was marvel at the 30-year-old outfielder, whose 59 home runs are two shy of Roger Maris’ AL record 127 RBI lead of all baseball and a .316 batting average is one point shy of earning the judge a potential triple crown.

His 59 homers are the most by a right-handed hitter in AL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“Sorry to repeat the same line, but this is historic,” Yankees starter Gerrit Cole said. “I don’t have anything else for you. It’s the greatest offensive season I’ve personally witnessed. I don’t know what else to say. I mean, it’s wonderful. I’m piloting it. , man. It’s amazing.”

Incredible may not be enough of an adjective to describe what Judge does. On Sunday, he raised his September line to nearly unthinkable numbers: a .491 batting average, .586 on-base percentage and 1.018 hitting percentage. His season line is now .316 / .419 / .701 – the highest slugging percentage since Barry Bonds in 2004 and potentially the first .700-plus slug season in the AL since Mark McGwire in 1996.

In Sunday’s game, Judge became the first player in the league’s ball tracking era to record five balls hit over 110 mph – a 115.4 mph liner to deep center field on the first pitch in the league. game, a 111.6 mph home run to right field in the third inning, a 111.3 mph single to left field in the sixth, a 110.3 mph home run to 443 feet to left field in the seventh and a 111.8 mph double to left field in the ninth.

Starting Tuesday, the Yankees will play six straight home games — two against the Pirates and four against the Red Sox, culminating in a Sunday night game against Boston on Sept. 25.

“Obviously we’re in a pennant chase, and the judge is sitting where he is, so there’s going to be that extra buzz every time he comes around,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I experienced that playing in the NL Central playing against Sammy [Sosa] and McGwire in 1998 where it’s like every time — it’s an event. And I think the fact that we are where we are in the pennant race and what he is hopefully doing should create a great environment at the stadium.”

Maris set the single-season league record with 61 in 1961, a record that stood for 37 years until McGwire broke it with 70 in 1998. Judge passed Jimmie Foxx (1932), Hank Greenberg (1938) , McGwire (1997) and Ryan Howard (2006) and tied with Babe Ruth (1921) and teammate Giancarlo Stanton (2017) for ninth place on the single-season roster with his 59th home run on Sunday.

Judge’s 11th multihomer game tied the season record set by Greenberg of Detroit in 1938 and tied by Sosa of the Chicago Cubs in 1998.

“I focus on what I can to be a good teammate, to help the team win,” Judge said. “If that means hitting a home run, then it means hitting a home run, but that was never my goal, was never my main goal.”

No one has helped his team win more than Judge, who is on course to play the 47th season of the live-ball era with more than 10 wins above substitution, according to FanGraphs. The Yankees now hold a 5½ game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL East.

With the buzz of 62 on the rise and the possibility of a Triple Crown now on the line – he’s one point off the batting average behind the Twins’ Luis Arraez, who is hitting .317, and percentage points behind Boston’s Xander Bogaerts to .316 – at least one person is not paying attention: judge.

“It’s just noise,” Judge said. “I have a job to do on the court and I’m focused on that. We have a long way to go. There are quite a few games left this month and the playoffs are waiting for us. So I remain locked in on that. “

“I’m going to stop,” he continued. “I try to stay away from all that as much as possible, because it’s really not good. You have a bad game, they’re going to say certain things. You have a good game, they’re going to say certain things So I try to stay away throughout the year and just focus on what I need to do here and focus on helping this team and listening to the opinions of my teammates and coaches are the ones that matter to me.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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