BOSTON — Not long ago, both the Yankees and Aaron Judge were playing at historic pace.
The Yankees were considering the possibility of challenging the franchise record of 114 regular season wins set in 1998, or the MLB record of 116 set by the Mariners three years later.
And the judges were ready to challenge Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs, the most in Yankees and American League history.
But after a month of mediocrity, including a week of downright poor play, the win count milestone became unrealistic.
That’s why judges insist he’s still not focused on his numbers, despite hitting 45 homers heading into Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
“I don’t think about it at all,” Judge said of his numbers. “I’m not near yet.”
That’s debatable, as he’s still on pace to hit 65 homers with less than two months left this season.
“What helps is that we have an important match,” Judge said. “We have this big lead in the division and we want to keep it and we know we want a home field.” [advantage] They play in the playoffs, so there are other things to play. I’m not worried about the stats because I have matches to win. ”
One of the stats he’s interested in is their standings.
When Houston defeated Texas 7-3 on Thursday, the Yankees fell half a game behind the Astros for the best record in the AL, but clinched a solid AL East lead by 10 games over Toronto. Dominating.
The lead was as high as 15 ½ games on July 8—it was the last time the Yankees were in Boston. .
Since then, however, the Yankees have lost their last two games at Fenway, going 10-18, including seven of their last eight games.
“It’s not that easy,” Judge said of the division win. We go through times like this, we go out on the other side and we get better and it’s good that it happened in August instead of September when we go into the postseason. You can learn.”
What they’ve seen lately is Judge’s over-reliance on the bat.
He was in tears most of the season, but he’s done better in his last 21 games, batting 76 33 (.434), 5 doubles, 14 home runs, 19 walks, 20 strikeouts, and OPS is 1.614.
Aaron Boone and most of Judge’s teammates are left with no better way to explain what he does. But without the contributions of injured Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter, as well as Anthony Rizzo, who had just returned from a back strain and didn’t look comfortable at bat in Seattle’s loss Wednesday, the Yankees’ offense wouldn’t be much. Don’t be intimidating. No matter what the judges do.
As an example, the Yankees hit another homer off the judges in the seventh inning, but it was one of only four hits.
They hit 52.6% on home runs this season. This is the highest number in the major. This is by design, but it is susceptible to drought, especially if there are no sluggers in the lineup.