As if 60 homers wasn’t enough, New York Yankees star Aaron Judge is also chasing a Triple Crown.
The baseball hallowed achievement is achieved when a hitter leads their league, AL or NL, in batting averages, home runs and RBIs in the same season. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera won MLB’s last Triple Crown in 2012, breaking a decade-long drought that had stretched since Carl Yastrzemski’s success for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
For much of the summer, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt appeared to be the standout threat to the 2022 Triple Crown. But just as Goldschmidt fell off homer pace in the NL, Judge has ramped up his assault on the batting average leaderboard in the AL. Since mentioning a .300 target in July citing Cabrera’s size, Judge has gone supernova. Since the All-Star break, he’s hitting .371, by far the best MLB qualifier. That lifted its overall average this week from 0.284 to a peak of 0.317.
With his home run and RBI leads looking insurmountable, Judge is basically racing a handful of AL stars for the batting title to see if he’ll add the Triple Crown to what is sure to be a ludicrous roll of honor in 2022.
So with just over a dozen games left, we’ll be monitoring his pursuit here at the end of each night.
Aaron Judge ends this regular season in spectacular fashion for the AL East lead Yankees. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Is Aaron Judge in line for the Triple Crown?
Thursday 22 September: YES SIR. But it’s still close. Judge posted his first hitless game since Sept. 7, but it’s not like the Red Sox gave him many chances. Judge went 0-for-2 with three walks and a strikeout. It looked like he hit 61 home runs on his final bat until the ball landed just short of the midfield wall, to the surprise of Yankee Stadium.
Luckily for the Judge Partisans, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ batting average dropped even further in a 0-on-5 night. This is what the batting average leaderboard looks like now:
Aaron Richter: .31589
Xander Bogaerts: .31358
Luis Arraez: .31262
The story goes on
This one goes to the wire.
This is what the leaderboards look like now.
Wednesday 21 Sept: YES SIR. The judge’s closest competitor is now Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. After strong nights for both, Judge is ahead by a razor-thin margin. The rankings show them both at .317, but the judge’s average is slightly higher as you go further down the decimals.
Make it all more interesting? The Yankees and Red Sox begin a four-game series Thursday in the Bronx.
Tuesday 20 Sept: YES SIR. The same night he hit the No. 60 home run — and set off a game-winning rally — Judge went to the top of 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 ninth inning.