It didn't take long for Yankees outfielder/cloutsman Aaron Judge to get on the board Sunday night against the Red Sox (NYY 9, BOS 7). Here's his second-inning blast at the expense of a Matt Hall fastball:
That smash, which left the bat at 107.9 mph and traveled 419 feet, also means that Judge has now homered in five consecutive games. He becomes the first Yankee to homer in five or more straight games since Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and the 10th Yankee overall. Babe Ruth in 1921 and Lou Gehrig in 1931 were the first two pinstripers to pull off such a feat. Ken Griffey Jr. of the Mariners (1993), Don Mattingly of the Yankees (1987) and Dale Long of the Pirates (1956) share the all-time record with home runs in eight consecutive games.
Judge homered again on Sunday night, a two-run shot in the eighth that turned a 7-7 tie into a 9-7 Yankees lead and eventual win. Every one of his six home runs this season has either tied the score or put the Yanks on top.
At this writing, Judge on the young season is now slashing .290/.371/.903 with those six home runs in 36 plate appearances. Few can do the kind of damage that Judge does on contact. For the fourth consecutive season, he's in the top 1.0 percent of the league in average exit velocity.
All of this is highly encouraging given Judge's recent health issues. He dealt with a shoulder and pectoral injuries late in the 2019 season, and in the first iteration of spring training came a fractured rib and collapsed lung. Had Opening Day not been delayed for so long by the COVID-19 pandemic Judge wouldn't have been ready for it. Things as they are, though, Judge is not only healthy and in the lineup but also hitting like an MVP candidate.