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Aaron Judge was a monster in the first round of the Home Run Derby

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You didn’t expect anything less, did you?

T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Aaron Judge murdered 23 baseballs in front of thousands of witnesses during the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night. That, in itself, is impressive. What makes it even better is the amount of drama that went into the ordeal.

Justin Bour took the first half of the round by storm. He hit 22 home runs in front of a hometown crowd. Judge had his work cut out for him, and for a while it didn’t look so good. The Yankees right fielder was slightly off pace before calling for a timeout around the halfway mark.

Don’t get me wrong, he had some big moments before the breather. For example, he did this:

It was after the break, however, that he went on a tear and started to do Judge things. He chased Bour all the way down and tied him before reaching the bonus round. With two more home runs in extra time, Judge earned a place in the semi-finals. It was, without question, one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.

Judge’s spray chart on the round is a work of art:

Have mercy.

We knew that Judge was going to do something special in the Home Run Derby. That was a given. The fact that he did this in the first round, though, that’s incredible. Our Big Baseball Boy takes on another rookie sensation, Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, in round two.

Here’s to even more Judge highlights!