As if eclipsing 60 home runs wasn’t enough, New York Yankees star Aaron Judge is also chasing a triple crown.
Baseball’s hallowed achievement is achieved when a batter leads their league, AL or NL, in batting average, home runs, and RBIs during the same season. Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera won the last MLB Triple Crown in 2012, ending a decades-long drought that had stretched since Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
For much of the summer, the preeminent threat for the 2022 Triple Crown appeared to be St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. But just as Goldschmidt lost homerun rhythm in the NL, Judge stepped up his assault on the batting average rating in the AL. Since mentioning a goal of hitting .300 in July, citing Cabrera’s greatness, Judge has gone supernova. He’s batting .371 since the All-Star break, easily the best among MLB’s skilled hitters. That took its overall average from 0.284 to a high of 0.317 this week.
With his home run and RBI leads looking insurmountable, Judge is essentially running a handful of AL stars for the batting title to determine if he’ll add the Triple Crown to what is sure to be a ridiculous list of honors in 2022. .
So, with just over a dozen games remaining, we’ll be watching for its pursuit here at the end of each night.
Is Aaron Judge in line for the Triple Crown?
Thursday September 22: YES. But it’s still close. Judge posted his first game without a hit since Sept. 7, but it’s not like the Red Sox gave him many chances. The judge went 0 for 2 with three walks and one strikeout. It looked like he had hit 61 home runs in his last at-bat until the ball fell just short of the center field wall, surprising Yankee Stadium.
Luckily for Judge’s supporters, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ batting average dropped even further on a 0-for-5 night. Here’s how the batting average standings now stand:
Judge Aaron: .31589
Xander Bogaerts: .31358
Luis Arraez: .31262
This one goes all the way to the wire.
Here’s what the leaderboards look like now.
Wednesday September 21: YES. The closest competition to the judge now is Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. After good nights for both, Judge is ahead by the slimmest of margins. The rankings will show them both at 0.317, but the judge’s average is a bit higher if you go lower in the decimal places.
Make it all more interesting? The Yankees and Red Sox begin a four-game series Thursday in the Bronx.
Tuesday, September 20: YES. On the same night he smashed the No. 60 home run — and sparked a game-winning rally — Judge took the lead in the AL batting title for the first time. He started the night behind Luis Arrarez and Xander Bogaerts before taking the lead with his ninth-inning explosion.