BOSTON – Aaron Judge had chosen his pitch and did not miss it, bludgeon a pair of tying home runs – Nos. 56 and 57 – Tuesday night that rocked Fenway Park.
“I’m out of adjectives,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Judge’s historic season, breaking Roger Maris’ 61-year franchise record with 61 homers. “Simply amazing what he does.”
Judge’s path to 61 homers — and beyond — had 20 regular-season games to play, following Tuesday’s 10-inning, 7-6 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Will the teams feature Aaron Judge?
Including Wednesday night at Fenway, the Yankees’ next 10 games were against the Red Sox (5), Milwaukee Brewers (3) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2).
Last dead in the AL East, the Red Sox threw to the judge on Tuesday until they couldn’t, intentionally walking him with an open base in the 10th inning.
“I know he plays for the Yankees and we want to get him out, but for the sport it’s great,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Wednesday on Meloni, Fauria and Mego’s radio show. WEEI.
“For sport, it’s incredible. And I think a lot of people in the industry are very proud of him.
Cora appreciates the way Judge carried himself, respecting his opponents and dealing with the pressures of leading a team with pennant expectations during his walking year as a free agent.
Expect the Red Sox staff to continue to challenge Judge when The Rivalry moves to the Bronx, in a four-game series next weekend, with the Yanks trying to whittle down their AL East magic number.
But the Brewers, battling for an NL wildcard spot, have more incentive to avoid letting Judge burn them anytime this weekend.
They’re in the basement of the NL Central Division and one of their pitchers could go down in history, in a two-game game at Yankee Stadium starting Tuesday.
Judge won a Grand Slam tournament this year in Pittsburgh on July 6 against ex-Yankee Manny Banuelos.
Will Aaron Judge need a rest?
As for Judge needing the occasional rest, well, the schedule has helped Judge and the Yankees to some extent.
The Yankees had Monday off, before the Boston series.
They’re out Thursday before the Milwaukee series and they’re out again Monday before the Pittsburgh series.
“I mean, hopefully at some point,” Boone said of giving Judge a break. “Because it means we’re in a good position” to clinch the split.
Still, the Yanks’ three days off during that eight-day streak were “really helpful” in Boone’s planning.
Additionally, “the handful of days off he may have had during the year has served him well.”
Including Wednesday in Boston, Judge has played in the Yankees’ last 37 straight games since Aug. 5.
Call Aaron Judge’s shot to pass Roger Maris
Despite an injury-compromised Yankees roster, without left-handed lead hitters Anthony Rizzo, Matt Carpenter and Andrew Benintendi, and with DJ LeMahieu joining them on the injured list, Judge continued to crush.
He didn’t chase bad shots or change his approach.
And he took the opportunity to strike more often in the front row, with Giancarlo Stanton behind him.
“The solo shots, obviously, look awful. But we’ll take them as long as we stay in the game,’ Cora told reporters after Judge pitched the sixth and eighth innings Tuesday night with homers.
One was out of a curve ball. The other out of a slider.
The Judge can hit any pitch from any part of almost any baseball field, but there’s something about his connection to Yankee Stadium and the right field bleachers.
Something about Friday night, Sept. 23, against the Red Sox seems right for the judge to throw No. 61, and possibly No. 62, breaking Maris’ mark and setting the record for AL.
“If you check the numbers, you’re going to get caught,” Judge said, about 20 homers ahead of Kyle Schwarber, his next closest competitor.
“If I have a good plan, a good approach, do what I have to do in the box – all these other things will show up.”