As if eclipsing 60 home runs weren’t enough, New York Yankees star Aaron Judge is also chasing a Triple Crown.
The sacred baseball feat is accomplished when a batter leads his league, AL or NL, in batting average, home runs, and RBIs in the same season. The Detroit Tigers batter Miguel Cabrera won the MLB’s last Triple Crown in 2012, breaking a decades-long drought that had stretched since Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
For much of the summer, the primary threat from the 2022 Triple Crown appeared to be St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. But just as Goldschmidt has fallen off the NL homer pace, Judge has stepped up his assault on the batting average standings in the AL. Since he set a goal of hitting .300 in July, citing Cabrera’s greatness, Judge has gone supernova. He hits .371 since the All-Star break, by far the best among qualified MLB hitters. That has pushed his overall average this week from .284 to a high of .317.
With his home run and RBI leads looking insurmountable, Judge is in fact racing a handful of AL stars for the batting title to determine if he will add the Triple Crown to what will surely be a ridiculous roll of honor in 2022.
So, with just over a dozen games to go, we’ll be watching his chase here at the end of each night.
Is Aaron Judge eligible for the Triple Crown?
Thursday 22 Sept.: YES. But it’s still close. Judge posted his first hitless game since September 7, but it’s not like the Red Sox gave him many chances. Judge was 0-for-2 with three walks and a strikeout. It looked like he had hit 61 home runs in his last at bat until the ball fell just in front of the midfield wall, much to the surprise of Yankee Stadium.
Fortunately for the Judge supporters, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ batting average dropped even further on a 0-for-5 night. This is what the batting average leaderboard looks like now:
Aaron Judge: .31589
Xander Bogaerts: .31358
Luis Arraez: .31262
This one goes to the wire.
This is what the leaderboards look like now.
wednesday 21 sept: YES. Judge’s closest competitor is now Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. After strong nights for both, Judge leads by the narrowest margins. The leaderboards show them both at .317, but Judge’s average is slightly higher as you go further down in the decimals.
Want to make all this even more interesting? The Yankees and Red Sox will begin a four-game series in the Bronx on Thursday.
tuesday 20 sept: YES. On the same night, he smashed home run #60 – leading to a game-winning rally – Judge took the lead for the AL batting title for the first time. He started the evening behind Luis Arrarez and Xander Bogaerts before taking the lead thanks to his explosion in the ninth inning.
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