They were out of No. 99 shirts at the team stores in Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon.
And if Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge wasn’t on the common fan’s radar before the win over Baltimore, the young slugger from Sacramento probably is now.
They needed radar to track Judge’s 496-foot lined rocket into the deepest concourse at the Stadium, as the 24-year-old is setting marks associated with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.
He went 4-for-4 in the blowout win over the Orioles, cranking another home run later in the game, his league-leading 21st of the season. Judge sits atop the stats in the AL in RBIs (47) and batting average (.344), as well.
The former Fresno State Bulldog had the makings of a young, potential home run hitter with his brief call-up last September, in which he hit four home runs, but hit .179, striking out 42 times in just 84 at-bats. This season, however, Judge has made vast improvements seemingly overnight.
Sure, he’s swinging for the fences, but he’s cut down his strikeout rate to closer to 30 percent and has taken 37 walks in 244 plate appearances. And despite a few hiccups, he has been a pleasant surprise defensively in right field, in fact, spectacular at times with his ability to lay out for dives with his 6-foot-7 frame and long reach.
And the Yanks are back on top for now in the AL East in an even more rugged than usual AL East in a year when maybe the team wasn’t expected to peak this early.
Meanwhile, in what seemed to be an endless week of baseballs leaving the park, the Reds’ Scooter Gennett trended for a day or two following his four home run performance against St. Louis last Tuesday in that band box of a field in Cincinnati.
While Gennett became the 17th player to even hit four round-trippers in a game, maybe more impressively, he became just the 15th player to drive in at least 10 runs in a game.
But as a sign of the times, he was already the second player to drive in 10 this season, joining Washington’s Anthony Rendon. And of the 17 in the four-homer club, Gennett has the fewest career circuit clouts with 42.
While Gennett’s feat seems even more unexpected considering his infielder frame and the fact that the Cincinnati native was a waiver claim by the Reds from Milwaukee just days before the start of the season, it obviously will be no surprise if such a feat happens more frequently in the future given the increases in power production.
Oakland Athletics (+108, 8o15) at Miami Marlins (Wed., 12:10): A’s 24-year-old top pitching prospect Daniel Gossett in ML debut. For the Marlins, veteran Edinson Volquez has completely turned a disastrous season around in just three starts, including his no-hitter, however, he is still down four units for his backers this season.
New York Yankees (-110, 8.5o20) at Los Angeles Angels (Wed., 7): Michael Pineda has been a different pitcher away from home, with nearly a 6 ERA away. The Angels’ Matt Shoemaker allows these Yanks a .317 batting average over 41 PAs, but has won five of his last six starts.
Los Angeles Dodgers (-120, 9.5) at Cleveland Indians (Thu., 9:10): Lefty Rich Hill. Hill hasn’t pitched more than five innings all season, but has allowed more than two earned runs in just one of his five starts. The Indians’ Josh Tomlin has won just one of his last seven starts.
Milwaukee Brewers (-105, 8.5) at St. Louis Cardinals (Thu., 4:10): Junior Guerra has looked sharp upon return from injury for the Brewers, but he has allowed a .385 average to this group of Cards’ bats over 41 PAs. The Cards’ Michael Wacha won for the first time in eight starts last time out on Friday against Philly.
Washington Nationals (-180, 7.5o20) at New York Mets (Fri., 4): Max Scherzer he became the third fastest to reach 2,000 strikeouts and gets the turn here against the Mets. Robert Gsellman has won three straight starts, posting a 1.42 ERA over that span.
San Francisco Giants (+120, 10.5o20) at Colorado Rockies (Fri, 5:40): Antonio Senzatela is 8-2, including 6-1 with a 3.18 ERA at Coors. The Giants’ Jeff Samardzija has the opposite record at 2-8, but certainly, could label it a bit of hard luck, as his WHIP is fine at 1.12.
Tampa Bay Rays (-120, 9o20) at Detroit Tigers (Sat., 1:10): The Rays’ Chris Archer has won just two of his 11 starts this season, but his team is about break-even when he takes the hill. The Tigers’ Daniel Norris has allowed this group of Tampa bats a .367 avg. over 35 PAs and has a 5.14 ERA at home this season. Norris hasn’t won since May 1.
Boston Red Sox (EV, 10) at Houston Astros (Sat. 5:15): David Paulino makes his fourth start for Houston carrying a 6.59 ERA into this one. Boston comes in with 3-8 Rick Porcello, who has cost his backers a little over four units so far this season and has an ERA near 4.50, a WHIP near 1.50.
Cleveland Indians (-107, 10o25) at Minnesota Twins (Sun., 11:10): Series finale for top two in the AL Central as both pitchers come in with ERAs over six. Trevor Bauer is 5-5 for the Indians and has taken the loss in only one of his last six starts. The Twins’ Kyle Gibson has won three of his four starts since a brief minor league stint early last month, but these Tribe bats hit .369 against him over 173 PAs.
Boston Red Sox (-105, 9.5) at Houston Astros (Sun., 5): Boston’s David Price has had some good success against many of the Astros’ hitters, holding them to a .263 mark over 114 at-bats, with only four walks allowed. The Astros’ Joe Musgrove is expected to make his second start off a DL stint after his initial return last Monday at home against Texas. Musgrove’s efforts to try and extend past six innings led to shoulder fatigue.