If the New York Yankees are to live up to their promise of an American League East division title and a deep postseason run, the most aesthetically pleasing route would involve Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton trading feats of strength.
The sluggers offered a sampling Monday night in a 7-0 victory against the Baltimore Orioles, with each launching his first home run of the season. Judge was first to strike, depositing a 2-0 fastball from Jorge Lopez into the right-field bleachers in the fourth inning. According to Statcast, the ball left Judge's bat at a speed of 104 mph and traveled 344 feet.
Stanton had the more substantive blast, in both value and distance. He teed off on a middle-middle fastball from Shawn Armstrong in the fifth inning for a grand slam. Stanton's ball carried 471 feet at 115 mph. That would've tied for the fourth-longest homer of the 2020 season.
Judge and Stanton have struggled to stay healthy over their first three seasons together. Judge appeared in 242 (63 percent) of the Yankees' 384 games from 2018 through 2020, while Stanton played 199 (52 percent). Obviously New York is hoping for a much better attendance record from the two sluggers this year.
If Judge and Stanton can deliver, then the Yankees will be well-positioned to compete for a championship -- and fans will be in for a number of nights like Monday.