As part of the Yankees' 16-0 incineration of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, slugger Aaron Judge became the first hitter to reach 30 home runs this season. The benchmark blast came on an eighth-inning grand slam off a sinker from Judge's former teammate, Manny Bañuelos:
That one left the bat at a sizzling 114.7 mph and traveled 419 feet. This marks the third 30-homer season for Judge, and it's the second time in his career that he's reached 30 home runs before the All-Star break. Not surprisingly, that puts him in elite company:
In addition to the grand slam, Judge also had a single, double and a walk on Wednesday. For the season, he's now slashing .287/.366/.627. Throw in the fact that he's been a primary center fielder this season, and he may be the current frontrunner for AL MVP honors. Notably, Judge is also in his walk year.
The very next inning, Aaron Hicks added a grand slam of his own, which gave the Yankees multiple grand slams in a game for the first time since 2011. In all, the Yankees victimized Pittsburgh's pitching for six home runs on the night, as they notched their largest margin of victory in a shutout since 1960.
The win moves Judge and Yankees to 59-23 on the season with a plus-175 run differential. They lead the second-place Red Sox by 14 games.