Aaron Judge Slugs Fourth Home Run in Four Games For First Time in Career
NEW YORK — For the first time in Aaron Judge's career, the slugger has hit four home runs in four consecutive games.
In his first at-bat on Saturday, Judge got every bit of a hanging knuckle curve from Red Sox' right-hander Zack Godley, sending it over the visitor's bullpen in left-center field at Yankee Stadium.
The solo shot — giving New York an early one-run lead — flew 455 feet per Statcast, coming off his bat at a scorching exit velocity of 110.8 mph. Only his teammate Giancarlo Stanton (483 feet) and Atlanta's Austin Riley (458 feet) have hit longer home runs thus far in the 2020 regular season. Judge is now tied for the MLB lead in home runs.
"One of the great players in the game," manager Aaron Boone said after the Yankees' 5-1 win. "Great job of taking advantage of a hanging pitch in that situation and to get the scoring started for us tonight set a really nice tone there in that first inning."
Judge had homered in three consecutive games five times in his career, as recently as late August of last season, but the blast on Saturday clinched a new career milestone for No. 99.
After a solo shot on Wednesday in Baltimore, his previous two long balls were go-ahead homers. He hit a game-winning shot against the Orioles on Friday, clinching an 8-6 victory in the top of the ninth, before giving the Bombers a lead in the third inning of the club's home opener on Friday with a two-run blast.
That's something Yankees fans are familiar with as entering Saturday, 21 of Judge's previous 30 home runs either tied the game or gave New York the lead.
One inning after Judge's moonshot against Boston, third baseman Gio Urshela ripped a grand slam to straightaway center field to give New York a 5-0 lead. It's the second time in three games that a member of the Yankees' high-octane offense has hit his first career grand slam (Luke Voit did it on Thursday as well).
Aaron Boone had this to say on Saturday morning about Judge's injuries — those that would have kept him sidelined had the regular season begun on time — and how exciting it is to see Judge dominate at the plate early on this season:
"I've been excited about Aaron and where he's been really since even before the start of Summer Camp when he first got cleared to start hitting and ramping up. Everything right away was going well and then that continued in Summer Camp. Not only was he able to get a lot of at-bats and looked really good but he was able to do a lot. He was able to get a lot of work in because I think physically he felt good. I feel like he's in really good shape and I'm just excited for him that he's out there and impacting us.
To keep up with all of Inside The Pinstripes’ coverage, click the "follow" button at the top right-hand corner of this page.