Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge entered Thursday afternoon’s game against the Orioles with 38 home runs, tying him with Wally Berger and Frank Robinson for the second-most home runs hit in a season by a rookie. The slugger mashed a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, boosting the Yankees’ lead to 3-0, to take sole possession of second place.
The record is held by Mark McGwire, who hit 49 dingers for the Athletics in 1987. Judge will need to hit 10 home runs over the final 23 games of the season. If it’s first-half Judge we’re talking about, that’d be no problem, but second-half Judge has been a less powerful hitter. He hit 30 home runs in 366 PA (one homer per 12.2 PA) in the first half, but has managed just 13 in 314 (one homer per 24.1 PA) in the second half.
Overall, Judge is batting .276/.412/.574 with 87 RBI and 104 runs scored along with the 39 round-trippers.