Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit his 58th and 59th home runs of the season on Sunday during New York's series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, a 12-8 Yankees victory. Judge is now two home runs away from tying Roger Maris' single-season home run records for both the Yankees franchise and the American League as a whole.
Judge came to the plate in the ninth with a chance to hit his third homer of the game and 60th of the season, but he had to settle for a line-drive double off the left-field wall. On the day, he was 4 for 5 with a double, two home runs, four RBI and three runs. He's hitting .316/.419/.701 on the season.
Judge's latest blasts, his first since another multi-homer effort on Sept. 13, were launched in the third inning against Brewers rookie right-hander Jason Alexander and then in the seventh against Luis Perdomo. Judge's first, a solo shot, closed the Brewers lead to 4-2. (Anthony Rizzo, making his return from the injured list, subsequently hit a home run of his own to pull the Yankees within one run). Judge's second, also of the solo variety, extended the Yankees' lead to a 10-4 margin.
Take a look:
According to Statcast, Judge's first home run left the bat with an exit velocity of 111.6 mph. The ball carried an estimated 414 feet. His second home run had a 110.3 mph exit velocity and a 443 foot distance.
Judge came into the day as the majors' undisputed leader in home runs this season. His 57 home runs were 18 more than any other player in the majors (Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies had 39 at the beginning of the day). The next-closest American League hitter, Yordan Alvarez, awoke on Sunday with 37 home runs. As if that wasn't enough, Judge also has a chance at winning the AL Triple Crown:
Judge entered Sunday hitting .312/.415/.687 (209 OPS+) and bettered that line. His contributions this season were worth an estimated 9.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference's calculations -- and that's before Sunday's barrage. Judge is arguably the favorite for the AL Most Valuable Player Award, depending on how the person in question weighs his contributions versus those of the Los Angeles Angels' two-way player Shohei Ohtani.
Judge, it should be noted, will qualify for free agency at the end of the season after turning down the Yankees' long-term extension offer back in the spring. He's expected to be the top available player in this winter's class.
As for the Yankees, salvaging the win Sunday snaps a two-game losing streak and -- teamed with the Blue Jays' loss -- pushes their AL East lead back up to 5 1/2 games.