MLBits: Judge Hits No. 62; Triple Crown Still Possible, Braves Clinch NL East, Postseason Bracket Set, More

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MLBits: Judge Hits No. 62; Triple Crown Still Possible, Braves Clinch NL East, Postseason Bracket Set, More

Chicago Cubs

Welcome to the final day of the MLB regular season. Now the real fun starts. But first, we’ve got some notables from yesterday to discuss.

Judge Breaks Maris’ AL Home Run Record

If you were tuning into the Yankees double header in Arlington on Tuesday in hopes of seeing Yankees slugger Aaron Judge make history, you were in luck. Judge’s 62nd home run, a 391-foot home run, came off Texas Rangers righthander Jesus Tinoco in the top of the first inning of the night cap in Arlington.

Here’s a few angles of the historical home run:

Judge now stands alone atop the Yankees and American League single-season home run ladder and 11 behind Barry Bonds’ MLB record of 73.

It took Judge 161 team games to hit No. 62, which came six days after he hit his 61st in Toronto. Unlike No. 61 in Toronto, a fan caught this one last night in Texas. Dallas resident Cory Youmans, sitting in section 31, row 1, seat 3 at Globe Life Field on Tuesday night, was the lucky Rangers fan who caught the home run ball that broke Roger Maris’ all-time American League home run record.

Youmans said last night that he “hasn’t thought about it” when it comes to what he will do with No. 62.

Next Up, the Triple Crown?

So, with No. 62 in the books, and one game left in the Yankees schedule, will Aaron Judge set his sights on the first American League Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera did it in 2012?

The Triple Crown is arguably as prestigious of a feat. It’s been a decade since Cabrera accomplished it, and before Cabrera, it hadn’t happened since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox. Cabrera finished the 2012 season with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI. Cabrera also had 40 doubles, 109 runs and a very impressive .606 slugging percentage.

Entering play today, Judge leads the AL in two of the three Triple Crown categories. Here’s a look at where he’s at:

  • Batting Average: .311 – 2nd (Luis Arraez is in 1st with a .315 batting average)
  • Home Runs: 62 – 1st
  • RBI: 131 – 1st

With Arraez leading judge in the average department, it’s not impossible, but it won’t be easy. The Yankees are in Texas again today and the Twins face the White Sox in Chicago. Here’s what the opposing starters have done this season and what Judge and Arraez have done against them in their careers:

Rangers vs. Yankees

  • Glenn Otto: 6-10, 4.72 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
  • Judge vs. Otto: 0-3, 1 K
  • Judge at Globe Life Field: 7 G, 7-25 (.280), 1 HR, 2 RBI

White Sox vs. Twins

  • Davis Martin: 3-5, 3.65 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
  • Arraez vs. Martin: 1-2, 2B
  • Arraez at Guaranteed Rate Field: 23 G, 31-98 (.316), 9 RBI

With that in mind, here’s what would have to happen today for Judge to overtake Arraez and win the Triple Crown, courtesy of MLB.com:

  • Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), Arraez goes 1-for-4 (.314545)
  • Judge goes 4-for-4 (.315331), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747)
  • Judge goes 3-for-4 (.313589), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747)
  • Judge goes 3-for-3 (.314136), Arraez goes 0-for-4 (.312747)

See … not impossible, but a long shot.

Braves Clinch NL East

The Atlanta Braves clinched the NL East on Tuesday night, marking their fifth straight NL East crown. Atlanta beat the Marlins 2-1 on the strength of RBI singles by Ronald Acuna Jr. and William Contreras and five innings of one-run ball from Jake Odorizzi.

Odds and Ends

  • The Mets won their 100th game of the season, marking the fourth time they’ve won 100 or more games in franchise history. Still, they’ll have to settle for second place in the NL East, the top Wild Card spot, and a date with the Padres to open the Postseason.
  • Justin Verlander Cy Young turned in another strong performance in the final start of the season, cementing his AL Cy Young Award candidacy.
  • Jeff Passan wrote an excellent story on Verlander’s road back to dominance this summer:
  • The MLB Postseason bracket is set!
  • Baseball’s top prospect picked up his first hit on Tuesday night, a sixth-inning home run!
  • Shohei Ohtani is the gift that just keeps giving for baseball fans:
  • I can’t even get my dog to fetch a tennis ball in the yard, and this pooch is out here catching home run balls at an MLB ballpark:
  • What a season it was for J-Rod, and what a read this story is:

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.