Judge hits 58th AND 59th HRs, just two shy of Maris

Yankees slugger has most single-season homers in AL history by a right-handed hitter

Most HR in a season, MLB history — with totals through 146 team games:
2001 Barry Bonds: 73 — 63
1998 Mark McGwire: 70 — 62
1998 Sammy Sosa: 66 — 58
2022 Aaron Judge: 65 (current pace) — 59
1999 Mark McGwire: 65 — 55
2001 Sammy Sosa: 64 — 54
1999 Sammy Sosa: 63 — 59
1961 Roger Maris: 61 — 56
1927 Babe Ruth: 60 — 53

Judge’s pursuit of Maris’ 61-year-old mark has been one of the leading storylines in the Majors this season, especially in the second half. The scene promises to be electric at Yankee Stadium beginning on Tuesday, as Judge and the Yankees return home to face the Pirates with all eyes upon their superhero-sized slugger.

“It should be really special,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously, we’re in a pennant chase, and Judge is sitting where he is. There’s going to be added buzz every time he comes up. I experienced that in the NL Central playing against Sammy [Sosa] and [Mark] McGwire in ’98. Every time, it’s an event.”

And there is more to Judge’s game than swinging for the fences. With four hits in five at-bats on Sunday, Judge is now batting .316, one point behind AL leader Luis Arraez (.317) of the Twins and tied with Xander Bogaerts (.316) of the Red Sox.

Owning a substantial lead on the AL home run and RBI leaderboards, Judge has raised his average 20 points this month to challenge for baseball’s first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and the first by a Yankee since Mickey Mantle in 1956.

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“It’s historical,” said Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole. “It’s the greatest offensive season that I’ve personally ever witnessed. I mean, it’s wonderful. I’m riding it, dude. It’s amazing.”

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Judge’s 58th homer of the season came in the third inning, an opposite-field solo drive off Jason Alexander that came off the bat at 111.6 mph and was projected to travel 414 feet, per Statcast.

That blast — part of a back-to-back set that highlighted Anthony Rizzo’s return from the injured list — marked Judge’s first homer since Sept. 13, when he hit Nos. 56 and 57 in a 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.