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. Let’s run through Game 151:
Aaron Judge through Game 151 of 2022: 60 HR
Team Game 151: 9/24 — 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Judge finally saw some pitches yesterday, and almost seem surprised by the extent to which Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta challenged him right off the bat in the first inning. Pivetta went right after Judge with three quick fastballs in the zone, the last of which caught Judge looking:
Judge got good wood in his next at-bat, sending a fly off the bat at 108 mph, but getting under the pitch for a harmless fly out. He managed a walk later, but was wrung up in the seventh on a check swing that was appealed to the first base umpire and ruled a swinging strike. Judge was visibly irritated with the call, a rare show of emotion on the field from a player who typically only emotes when cheering on his teammates.
Perhaps this was a small sign of the weight of the chase wearing on Judge, who has handled the pressure that’s come with his walk season and subsequent historic march so smoothly. In any event, Judge is still well on track to break Roger Maris’ franchise record, with 11 games to go to hit Nos. 61 and 62.
Roger Maris through Game 151 of 1961: 57 HR
Team Game 151: 9/16 — 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Roger gets off the schneid and breaks a week-long homer drought, cracking No. 57 off of Frank Lary. This was a two-run shot that tied the game at two, but the Yankees would end up losing 10-4 to the Tigers, thanks to starter Ralph Terry getting crushed for seven runs in 3.1 innings. No matter, the Yankees were still 101-49, and Maris had gotten back on pace, three behind the Babe and on track for 61.
Babe Ruth through Game 151 of 1927: 56 HR
Team Game 151: 9/25 — 1-for-3, 1 1B, 2 BB, 1 K
Quiet game for the Yankees, and the Babe couldn’t help much, despite reaching base three times. The Yankees fell 6-1 to Detroit, allowing Maris to slip past Ruth’s homer pace. New York could only manage six singles in this one, a rare power outage for Murderers Row, with Tigers starter Earl Whitehill pitching a complete game, albeit one with eight walks against four strikeouts.
Barry Bonds through Game 151 of 2001: 67 HR
Team Game 151: 9/24 — 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB
Bonds stays red-hot, following up his two-homer game in San Diego with his 67th dinger of 2001 in Los Angeles. He got a fat pitch up and the middle of the zone and lined it out in the blink of an eye, a Giancarlo Stanton-esque laser home run instead of a majestic high fly:
Bonds gave San Francisco a 2-0 lead with the solo shot in a game they’d go on to win 2-1 over the Dodgers. He stood just three homers shy of Mark McGwire’s record of 70 with ten games to go, and appeared destined to take the home run crown as his own.
Mark McGwire through Game 151 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 151: 9/14 — 2-for-4, 2 1B, 2 RBI, 1 K
A pretty non-McGwire like game in this one, as the slugger managed a mere two singles, and no extra-base hits nor walks. McGwire had 38 multi-hit games in 1998, and this one of six of them that didn’t feature an extra-base knock. His single in the third inning of this one brought in two and put the Cardinals up 5-0 in a game they would win over the Pirates by the score of 7-3.
Sammy Sosa through Game 151 of 1998: 62 HR
Team Game 151: 9/14 — 0-for-4, 4 K
After one his best games of the season, a two-homer job that pulled Sosa back even with McGwire in the 1998 chase, Sammy suffered through perhaps the very worst game of his magical campaign. He came to the plate four times and earned a Golden Sombrero, striking out all four times. Sosa’s poor showing came at an inopportune time as well, as Cubs lost 4-3 to the Padres to fall into a tie with the Mets for the NL Wild Card.