He is also fighting for the American League hitting Triple Crown.
Yes: Judge’s next home run will tie him with Maris, as he currently has 60.
But he is also on a race to become the AL’s batting champion, and since he has a comfortable lead in home runs (60) and RBI (128), winning the batting crown will mean the first hitting Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera earned one in 2012.
The race for the batting title is much, much tighter than the other departments.
American League batting average leaders right now:
Aaron Judge ———> .31434
Xander Bogaerts —-> .31380
Luis Arraez ———-> .31298
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) September 26, 2022
At this point, every hit and ever 0-fer counts.
Pressure From Every Possible Angle
Judge is not only feeling pressure stemming from the home run record chase: people also expect him to win the Triple Crown, and that’s a lot to ask.
He may very well come away empty-handed…or complete both achievements.
He has about nine games left on the regular season to finish what he started.
It’s the first time in Judge’s career he is hitting over .300.
For the season as a whole, he is slashing an incredible .314/.421/.697 with 10.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR).
That figure comfortably leads the league.
He has also scored 125 runs and stolen 16 bases.
He is the prime AL MVP candidate as things stand, barring a huge surprise.
He may actually be having a top-five season in Yankees history, which is saying a lot when people like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, and Derek Jeter played for the team.