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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 9/29/22

Judge ties Maris with homer No. 61, could break record at home; Yankee Stadium not a factor in Judge’s historic pace; Andújar happy for fresh start in Pittsburgh; Rizzo takes a spin as player-manager.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

ESPN | Marly Rivera: There was plenty of buildup for this one, but at last Aaron Judge slugged homer No. 61 in his incredible season in the series finale against Toronto. It came late in a tie game, providing the offensive spark that led the team to the victory, and the game took a short pause as Judge was surrounded by his teammates around home plate in celebration. Judge, as always, was relaxed when interviewed in the postgame, saying “I’m playing a kid’s game and I love this. I love these moments.” Now Judge will have three home games coming up to try and knock out the record-breaker in front of the home fans before heading off for the season finale. | Mike Petriello: Speaking of Yankee Stadium, some of the buzz around Judge’s monster season has included discussions about the short porch and how it “cheapens” the year he’s had. Obviously that’s not true to anyone who has watched Judge play, but if you want empirical evidence to that, Petriello’s got you covered with all the details of Judge’s 60 (at the time of writing) bombs — he also correctly predicted that it would make sense if he got 61 at the end of this Toronto trip. That’s because Judge has actually slugged better on the road than in the Bronx, and now 10 of his last 13 homers have come on the road.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Miguel Andújar’s Yankees career ended this week after he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Pirates, and the early results show that Miggy Two-Bags has some life in Pittsburgh. Andújar has two doubles to his name already, alongside five RBI, after immediately being inserted into the heart of the Pirates lineup. Perhaps he’ll finally recapture some of his 2018 Rookie of the Year runner-up form in Pittsburgh, but it was never going to happen in New York with a lack of reasons to give him consistent playing time.

Sports Illustrated | Gary Phillips: Anthony Rizzo had a day off when he wasn’t penciled into the lineup on Wednesday, but that’s because he took on a secondary job — acting as a player-manager for Aaron Boone. Rizzo was involved on the bench — with final decision on all of the in-game moves still going to Boone — as a bit of fun with the division locked up now. Judge also played into it by referencing Rizzo’s decision-making in letting him start instead of sit in the series finale during his postgame interviews.