The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gave Yankees slugger Aaron Judge exactly one pitch to hit on Monday evening, and he deposited it deep into the rock formation for his 50th home run of the season, an event that usually doesn’t occur in late August.
Unfortunately, one homer wasn’t enough for the slip-sliding 2022 Yankees. It almost never is.
The Bombers fell 4-3 to the LAA late Monday after Judge was intentionally walked mid-rally his first two times up before finally thumping a solo home run late in the game, something that seems to happen far too often these days. Despite Gleyber Torres and Oswaldo Cabrera’s best attempts at pimping home runs, neither ball made it past the outfielders, and that was that.
Judge is officially on a Roger Maris pace, but likely without a Roger Maris World Series run ahead of him to look forward to. That’s left the potential future Yankee captain feeling quite hollow.
Ahead of what may be his final month in pinstripes, if the team and its executives don’t concurrently turn things around quickly, Judge quickly deflected when asked about what this milestone meant. In true Jeterian fashion … not much.
Yankees’ Aaron Judge barely cares about drilling his 50th homer
A modern Yankees icon chasing an historic franchise home run record midway through an all-time collapse that embodies the team’s recent inability to get over the hump? Sign us the hell NOT up!
Judge’s prodigious blasts have been a joy to watch all year long, but as he goes, the team goes. And when he’s barely given a chance to swing in a close game in Anaheim and the rest of the roster fails to deliver around him, that dichotomy is all the more glaring.
Right now, these freefalling Yankees are in the softest remaining part of their schedule, a west coast swing against two ex-rivals that have ostensibly given up in 2022. That hasn’t mattered; after opening the trip with a pair of wins in Oakland, the Yankees lost the final two at their own personal hell (the Coliseum), then fell in the opener in Anaheim without putting up much of a fight.
Judge rightfully has no interest in remembering 2022 for his personal heroics if the season turns as sour as it’s threatening to. He’s saying all the right things. Now, all he needs is to flip a magical switch and revert the rest of the roster to its first-half form. A tall task indeed.