Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge launched his 40th home run of the season, joining Mark McGwire as the only rookies to hit 40-plus homers in a season. McGwire, of course, launched 49 dingers for the Athletics in 1987.
Judge’s blast came in the top of the fourth inning with the bases empty, two outs, and a 3-2 count with the Yankees already leading 8-1.
Along with 40 homers, Judge is batting .275/.410/.576 with 89 RBI and 106 runs scored. The Yankees have 20 games left on the schedule, so Judge will have to go on a serious tear to match or surpass McGwire’s rookie record.
Update (5:44 PM ET): Judge hit No. 41, his second of the game, with the bases empty in the top of the sixth inning, boosting the Yankees’ lead to 12-4.
The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.
It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.
Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.