Welcome back to the Aaron Judge Home Run Record Tracker! We’re taking a daily look at where Aaron Judge’s monster season tracks compared to some of the other historic single-season home run leaders in anticipation of Judge potentially joining their ranks. We’ll be going by Team Game because not every player’s seasons were in sync with the calendar days and everyone didn’t play all of the team’s games, which makes this our universal standard. Now, for Game 131:
Aaron Judge through Game 131 of 2022: 51 HR
Team Game 131: 8/31 — 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
It was probably asking for too much to see Judge hit a home run in three straight games, but you never know with a slugger this good. Alas, Judge did not manage to do so, working a couple of walks and stealing a base in the ninth inning instead. Judge was the tying run in that instance, but the Yankees couldn’t do anything after he got to second base and dropped another nail-biter.
Roger Maris through Game 131 of 1961: 51 HR
Team Game 131: 8/29 — 0-for-3, 1 BB
The main foil to our big man’s chase, Maris had a quiet night here much like the rest of the ‘61 Yankees. The Twins’ Camilo Pascual managed to pitch a complete game shutout against them, and he got Maris out three times, conceding just a walk to him in the seventh inning.
Babe Ruth through Game 131 of 1927: 44 HR
Team Game 131: 9/5 (2) — 0-for-3, 1 K
A few hours prior, the Yankees and Red Sox played in an 18-inning barnburner. Naturally they had to play a doubleheader after that, but this one only lasted five innings. Call it mercy after a grueling beginning to their day, but the Yankees jumped out early and easily won this one. Unfortunately, Ruth was a non-factor in this game as well, failing to get on base.
Barry Bonds through Game 131 of 2001: 56 HR
Team Game 131: 8/27 — 3-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB
Bonds is the lone mover on our list here at this point in the season, mashing his 56th homer of the year in the fifth inning off of the Mets’ Kevin Appier. Bonds’ solo shot was a back-to-back blast with Rich Aurilia that propelled the Giants from a 1-1 tie to a 3-1 lead. Every run counted in this one, as the Giants gave the lead away in the bottom of that same inning and ultimately squeaked out a 6-5 win.
Mark McGwire through Game 131 of 1998: 53 HR
Team Game 131: 8/24 — did not play
Nothing to report on McGwire from this one, as he sat in a game that wouldn’t be completed between the Cardinals and Pirates.
Sammy Sosa through Game 131 of 1998: 51 HR
Team Game 131: 8/24 — 2-for-4, 1 K
With his rival sitting out his game, Sosa had a chance to make up some ground against the Astros. Unfortunately for him, though he would get a pair of hits neither left the yard or did much to contribute in cutting into Houston’s massive lead in this game. The Cubs couldn’t recover after Mark Clark could only make it two innings, and the Astros easily took the bout 12-3.