Aaron Judge hit another ball a long way on Wednesday, but he also made the wrong kind of history.
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has done a lot of great things this season, including hitting his American League leading 37th home run in a victory over the Mets on Wednesday.
He also set the major league record for most consecutive games with a strikeout at 33, breaking Adam Dunn’s record.
He was actually pretty close to not setting the record as it took until the ninth inning for the Mets to strike him out.
The strikeout on Wednesday was his 158th of the season, and since the All-Star break Judge hasn’t fared too well, putting a lot of fans on edge.
The usual narrative for those who participate in the Home Run Derby is that it messes with the mechanics of someone’s swing. Judge hasn’t said much about the streak or his post-All-Star slump (not that he says much of anything anyway), but Joe Girardi and those within the organization say he’s mechanically fine. It’s just a matter of not missing good pitches.
Since the break he has a slash line of .175/.344/.369 with 49 strikeouts entering Wednesday, which isn’t good.
The .344 on-base percentage isn’t bad, it’s the fact that strikeouts are up and the power numbers are down.
The way the game is now, it’s all about the long ball, and strikeouts are acceptable as long as you hit 35-plus home runs if that’s your job. Joey Gallo is going to have more home runs than singles this season and no one down in Texas is even flinching.
Judge is a vital part of the Yankees lineup, and he’s protected by Gary Sanchez who hits right behind him, so he’s going to get pitches to hit. He just needs to actually hit them. He might be turning the corner with two home runs in his last three games, but Yankees fans are just going to have to get used to the strikeouts.