In his own words, Aaron Judge isn’t locked in, yet.
That’s a bold statement coming from the man who just belted six home runs in five straight games and has now matched a New York Yankees franchise record by hitting those six homers in the first eight games of the season — tying Alex Rodriguez from 2007, passing Babe Ruth in the process.
“It’s an honor to be in the same sentence of those two guys,” Judge said after his latest two 400-foot-plus shots lifted the Yankees over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.
While Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday that Judge is “on a mission,” number 99 told that he’s personally “just trying to go out there and have some fun.”
“That’s been my biggest thing is just go out there and do my part,” Judge added, mentioning that each season as a team, the Yankees are on a mission, speaking highly of that squad which he said has “a lot of talent, a lot of heart” as well.
“I’ve got my own personal goals and achievements that I want to accomplish each and every year, but none of that comes before the team…so whenever my name gets called and whatever the situation when I’ve got to drive somebody in I’m going to try to do it,” Judge said.
Boone also believes that Judge’s seemingly complete recovery from a lingering rib injury from a diving catch in September of 2019 has “lit another fuse for him” this time around.
“He’s healthy, man, there’s a reason he almost won the MVP,” first baseman Luke Voit said about his teammate.
Voit, who put his own clutch solo shot into the left-field seats on Sunday added, “he’s in a groove right now and I’m excited to see what he can do in 60 games this year with how he’s raking now.”
Shortstop DJ LeMahieu, who set Judge up to take the lead with his late tying RBI against the Sox, reiterated Voit’s thoughts, calling number 99 a “calm, easy, confident” batter.
So, what does being “locked-in” mean for Judge?
“It’s about not missing my pitch,” Judge said, adding that going 5-for-5 would each night would constitute a ‘locked-in’ performance at the plate.
If Judge is to hit a sixth consecutive home run Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Bronx it would tie teammate Giancarlo Stanton’s streak he pulled off with the Marlins in 2017.
Though there is something much larger on the minds of Judge, Stanton, Voit, LeMahieu, Boone, and really all of the Yankees organization – finishing 2020 as champions of the Fall Classic.
“It’s time to get this thing rolling, it’s still early but we just keep taking every single game on at a time and just keep trying to win today I think that’s going to add up at the end of the year for us,” Judge said.