New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge went hitless on Thursday night against the rival Boston Red Sox and remains on 60 home runs for the season – one shy of Roger Maris' franchise and American League record. Judge's Yankees, however, prevailed in 10 innings over Boston by a score of 5-4 thanks to a walk-off single by Josh Donaldson.
The Yankees' win, their 91st of the season, means they'll advance to the postseason for a sixth straight year, the last five of which have come under manager Aaron Boone. Overall, it's the Yankees' 58th trip to the playoffs.
In the coming days, Boone's club is very likely to clinch the American League East title and also secure the No. 2 seed in the AL bracket behind only the Houston Astros, who presently have 99 wins. The top two seeds in each league get a bye through the opening-round Wild Card Series and into the best-of-five Division Series. Once in the postseason, the Yankees will be trying to win the World Series for the first time since 2009.
As for Judge, he wound up 0 for 2 with three walks. In the first inning, he walked on four pitches against Boston starter Michael Wacha. In the third, Judge walked again versus Wacha, this time on seven pitches. Judge in the fifth struck out swinging against Wacha. In the seventh, Judge drew his third walk of the evening – a five-pitch free pass off right-handed reliever John Schreiber. His closest call came in the ninth, as he launched a deep, 404-foot fly to center that Enrique Hernández was able to secure just in front of the wall.
The Yankees have 13 games left on the regular-season schedule, so it seems highly likely that Judge will surpass Maris and have the AL record to himself. The overall record for home runs in a season is 73 set by Barry Bonds of the Giants in 2001.
Judge also came into Thursday leading the AL in all three Triple Crown categories – home runs, RBI and batting average. He remains atop all three lists despite the hitless night. Judge is angling to become the first Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Overall, the batter's Triple Crown has been achieved just 12 times since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920.
Judge will try again for homer No. 61 on Friday night back in the Bronx in the second game of the four-game series against the Red Sox.