Aaron Judge tries to focus on wins before pushing 61 home runs

CHICAGO – This was as close as possible. Aaron Judge hit twice at home on Sunday, and the Yankees player came close to admitting he’s on the verge of breaking a 61-year-old record. The Bombers return to the Bronx where the judge will play two games against the Buccaneers and four against Boston to reach the MLS for Roger Maris – and the Yankees’ franchise – a record 61 home points.

The thought of matching or beating Maris’ record across the street from where he was set and in front of Bleacher Creatures and the fans who have cheered him on since at least breaking into the major leagues made the 30-year-old stop and smile for a moment.

“If it happened while winning, that would be great,” Judge said after his 58th and 59th win over the Brewers at American Family Field 12-8. “That’s what I focus on. If I get the chance to do it at home, that would be great too. But we’ll talk about it if that time comes.”

With 15 regular season games remaining and Judge putting together an all-out offensive season he hasn’t seen in over 20 years, that’s likely to happen sooner rather than later. He’s shown an uncanny ability to block out noises from the outside even before he starts hitting home this season. The Yankees faced sobriety this spring, refusing to extend a contract that was supposed to be worth more than $230 million and betting on themselves by hitting the free agent market this winter.

He’ll already have a pretty impressive resume when he talks to “all 30 teams,” as he said he would after turning down the bombers’ offer.

Not only does he lead the MLB with 59 points at home – by a large margin – but his consistency this season has him within reach to win his first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the majors in the 127th.

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The home record would be an incredible bonus for an incredible season.

The Pirates crew have given up 149 this season—including a Grand Slam in front of Judge in July—and the Red Sox crew have given up 155. Judge has hit four Boston Homers bowlers this season.

With judge strikes coming home, whenever and wherever, he will become the sixth player to reach 60 in a single season, joining Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Maris as well as current MLB record holder, Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, who has done it twice and Sammy Sosa who has done it. three times. Bonds, who turned 73, McGwire and Sosa, of course, are linked to the steroid allegations that have hung above each of them.

Judge, who grew up about an hour from San Francisco where Bonds was breaking Maris’ record, doesn’t rule out what Bonds, McGuire and Sosa did. Indeed, this was a home race between McGwire and Sosa to reach the previously unattainable 61, formally for Judge. This ignited his love for MLB and helped him set his goals.

“I set personal goals, especially when I was a 10-year-old,” he said. “You have dreams and aspirations for what you’d like to try to achieve in Major League Baseball if you got there, but didn’t think it would come true in your wildest dreams.”

Of course, the judge was eager to acknowledge what and what these goals were. He was determined to keep his personal goals personal while chasing the post-season success that has eluded him so far in his career.

“Yeah, go up to the big leagues, be an All-Star,” Judge said were some of the goals he set while watching the Bonds all those years ago. Then he added the person he’s driving publicly this season. “The big one, winning the championship, is still there, but we have some time for that. We have a team that can do that, so we hope to check it off the list.”