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, onto Game 138:
Aaron Judge through Game 138 of 2022: 55 HR
Team Game 138: 9/8 — 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB (IBB)
The only extra-base hit that Aaron Judge could muster last night was a double in the eighth, and the Twins didn’t give him a chance at a fifth at-bat. Instead, they walked him to load the bases with one out in the ninth and the winning run in scoring position. It worked out for Minnesota, and Judge left Game 138 stuck on 55 homers.
Roger Maris through Game 138 of 1961: 53 HR
Team Game 138: 9/4 (2) — 0-for-4
The ‘61 Yanks swept this doubleheader against the Washington Senators, but it just wasn’t a good day for Roger Maris. He went 0-for-8 in total after going hitless in the nightcap as well, as the recently-passed southpaw Pete Burnside (who I hope is related to Ambrose) kept him in check over eight innings.
Babe Ruth through Game 138 of 1927: 50 HR
Team Game 138: 9/11 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Hey, the St. Louis Browns actually beat the ‘27 Yankees! It happened! Good for the Brownies. They couldn’t fully keep Babe Ruth in check though, as he took eventual centenarian Milt Gaston deep in the fourth for his 50th homer of the season. It was the third time in Ruth’s career that he’d crossed that threshold, and it took until 1930 (when he had tacked on a fourth in 1928) before anyone else would do it.
Barry Bonds through Game 138 of 2001: 58 HR
Team Game 138: 9/3 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
Rockies right-hander Jason Jennings caught eyes everywhere when he homered and threw a shutout in his MLB debut on August 23rd, but while he went on to win the 2002 NL Rookie of the Year, he wasn’t quite good enough to fool 2001 Barry Bonds. The second pitch of the fourth inning went a long, long way for No. 58, bringing Bonds within two of Ruth. Jennings got the last laugh, though, because he threw seven innings of three-hit ball as Colorado won, 4-1.
Mark McGwire through Game 138 of 1998: 55 HR
Team Game 138: 8/31 — 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K
Brian Jordan was the Cardinals’ home run hero of August 31st, as he went deep in a 5-3 victory that didn’t feature much from Mark McGwire. The Marlins issued seven walks to Cardinals batters, including two to McGwire, and in his remaining three plate appearances, he struck out twice and popped one up.
Sammy Sosa through Game 138 of 1998: 55 HR
Team Game 138: 8/31 — 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
McGwire’s silence on August 31st allowed Sammy Sosa to tie their amazing race up once again. His two-run bomb in the third for No. 55 off championship Yankee Brett Tomko (yes, really) allowed the Cubs to get back in this game at 4-2. Kerry Wood’s own two-run shot (again: yes, really) completed the comeback and Chicago kept pace with the Mets in the NL Wild Card chase.