Aaron Judge hit a homer to left field for the first time this year. Wait, what?
The New York Yankees have been an offensive juggernaut this season, scoring an MLB-leading 749 runs and hitting 229 homers, second only to the Minnesota Twins. It's led to 83 wins to date, tied for most in the league, a remarkable feat given how atrocious their starting rotation has been. But the most impressive part of all is that they've done it with absolutely zero help from Giancarlo Stanton, and not nearly enough help from Aaron Judge.
But "not nearly enough help" by Aaron Judge standards is still pretty dang good. Despite multiple injuries, the 27-year-old slugger has still appeared in 70 games, hit 13 homers and collected 34 RBIs. It's scary to think what some of the Yankee batting totals would look like if he and Stanton were at their peak, but the club is still doing just fine anyway.
On Tuesday night, they had a rare loss, though it wasn't all too surprising given that they always struggle in Oakland and it was the first game of a 10-game West Coast trip. What was surprising was Judge's solo shot, his 13th homer of the year, an absolute moonshot to left field. Normal stuff for No. 99, right? Not this year. Shockingly, this was Judge's first home run to left field this season. No, we're not kidding:
What a blast. These tape-measure homers to deep left are what Judge has been known for these last few years, but the power to left, or any part of the field for that matter, hasn't quite been there. Many of his homers have gone over the short porch in right field in the Bronx, as Judge has employed an outside to in swing to go the other way with it.
Judge's lack of power and inability to pull the ball has been a hot topic of discussion in New York, so much so that Judge sounds like he had had enough of it when asked about his homer on Tuesday night:
Judge is right, it doesn't matter where the ball goes as long as he's producing. But some have surmised that he wasn't able to pull it because he still wasn't 100 percent healthy, or that he was just mired in a slump (a damn good slump at that). Let's hope this homer is a sign that he's all the way back. October baseball will be better with Judge smashing balls to deep left field as opposed to just creeping them over the wall in right.