Aaron Judge is HIM! After tying Roger Maris for the most home runs in a single season by an American League player with 61, he sets his sights on 62 and becoming the second Black Triple Crown winner ever. Of course, the history-making MLBbro is at the top of our #HIGHFIVE list Week 25.
1. Aaron Judge “All Rise”
It took a little longer than expected in large part due to the Blue Jays walking Judge seven times in their series this week, but Wednesday night he launched his 61st home run of the season off reliever Tim Mayza. The two-run homer came in the seventh inning of a tie game, which for Judge, who has been all about winning during the circus around him, felt just as good as the record.
There were seven games between home runs 60 and 61 for Judge who is also leading in all categories (BA, RBI, HR) required for the American League Triple Crown. He would join Frank Robinson as the only Black player to accomplish the feat and be the first since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 to do it.
A fan in the left field stands missed his chance at the lottery and was not able to catch Judge’s 61st before it fell into the bullpen. Instead Judge was able to give the ball to his mother.
“She has been with me through it all,” said Judge. “From the little league days, getting me ready for school, taking me to my first couple practices and games, being there for my first professional game, my debut and now getting a chance to be here for this- this is something special and we are not done yet.”
Judge’s next shot at 62 will come this weekend in the Yankees final home series before the playoffs against the Orioles.
2. Hunter Greene “Triple Beam”
Nobody in the world brings more gas to the table than Hunter Greene and it is not even close. After going six shutout innings, striking out 10 and allowing just four hits Tuesday night against the Pirates, Greene has now thrown 300 pitches this season over 100 MPH. That is the most by any starter by over 200! The next closest is fellow MLBbro Jordan Hicks who the St. Louis Cardinals are trying to change from a reliever to a starter.
Return To Glory: History Says MLBbros Hunter Greene & Ke’Bryan Hayes Will Lead Reds, Pirates Back To Prominence@OctobersOwnTae breaks down why in the Lead Off today on https://t.co/ChxFrvuIU4 pic.twitter.com/9DkP7wX28g
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 27, 2022
Greene’s final start of the season will come Monday at home against the Chicago Cubs.
3. Triston McKenzie “Dr. Sticks”
Triston McKenzie has reached a new level during the second half of this season, particularly in September where he dominated this past week helping the Guardians clinch the American League Central and more importantly being the feature of Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlights.
Wednesday night, in what could turn out to be a playoff preview, McKenzie struck out six and allowed just three hits and one run before a rain delay meant the end to his night on the mound.
That makes 10 quality starts in a row for McKenzie who will get the ball for the Guardians in either game one or two of next weekend’s playoffs. His final tune up of the regular season will come Monday against Kansas City.
4. Josiah Gray
Josiah Gray made a statement in what could be the final outing of his first full Major League season.
Against last year’s World Champion Atlanta Braves, who are currently in a dog fight for the National East crown and an important first round bye, Gray went six innings striking out two and only giving up two hits, one being a solo home run by Matt Olsen.13414
Gray, who leads the Majors in home runs allowed, dropped his fastball last night and exclusively used his sinker.
If he is able to keep the ball down and have that pitch working next year alongside his curveball and slider, Gray could become the Ace the Nationals are hoping he is.
5. Michael Harris II “Money Mike”
“Money” Michael Harris II is on the way to possibly winning the National League Rookie of the Year, but first he needs to help his Braves get past the Mets in what will be a heavyweight fight in the ATL this weekend.
This month Harris is .327 with 19 RBI, six home runs, five doubles, 20 runs scored and four stolen bases.
In addition to being the MVP of one of baseball’s most potent lineups, Harris II is making a case at the National League Gold Glove for center fielders.
The Braves trail the Mets by one game for the lead in the N.L. East so this three-game set they have this weekend will give one of the two a profound edge going into the postseason.