Judge and Stanton match Murderers' Row Yankees

Each slugger reaches double-digit HRs through 32nd game of season

May 14th, 2022

CHICAGO -- Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been teammates since 2018, but they have never started a season together like this.

Both sluggers homered Friday night en route to a 10-4 win over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. This victory gave the Yankees an MLB-best 24 wins on the season, and it's only the fifth time in franchise history they have reached this mark through 32 games. The other four years (1928, ’39, ’58, ’98), they won the World Series.

“It sets us up to be consistent,” Judge said. “Not really trying to do too much and continue to play our game. It’s nights like tonight where our pitching staff does their thing [and] the offense continues to operate at-bats.”

Stanton got it started in the first inning with a two-run shot to center off Vince Velasquez. Judge’s MLB-leading 12th of the year was a solo shot in the fourth inning, also off Velasquez.

“Judge just keeps getting better and better,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Judge and Stanton also homered in Thursday’s 15-7 win over the White Sox, and New York is now 21-1 when they both homer in the same game, including 5-0 this season. Their only loss came last year in the Field of Dreams Game on Aug. 12.

“It’s brutal,” Gerrit Cole said of opposing pitchers having to face Stanton and Judge in the lineup. “There’s a lot of power. There’s different types of hitters, and Judge and Stanton are obviously kind of unicorns.”

Their success this season has not only pushed the Yankees out to a hot start but also puts the pair of sluggers in some elite company. Through the club’s first 32 games, both hitters have double digits in home runs (Judge 12, Stanton 10), something that hasn’t been accomplished for the Yankees since 1956.

Judge and Stanton join Babe Ruth (14) and Lou Gehrig (10) from 1930 and Mickey Mantle (16) and Yogi Berra (12) from 1956 as the only pair of teammates in franchise history to have 10-plus homers in 32 games.

“It’s the guys around me, that’s where it starts for me,” Judge said of his season's success. “Having great guys sitting in front of me, always getting on base and the guys behind me that are getting me good pitches to hit because they don’t want to face [Anthony] Rizzo and [Josh] Donaldson with guys on base. So for me, it’s just the team.”

Judge finished Friday going 2-for-3 with one home run, one RBI and two walks, while Stanton went 2-for-4 with one home run, two RBIs and one walk.

The two sluggers might be seeing the ball better than anyone in the Majors. Over the past 15 games, Judge and Stanton are a combined 42-for-118 (.356 average) at the plate -- with each having 21 hits in that span.

“I like them going up [to the plate] right now,” Boone said. “I do feel like both are in a really good place ... [Stanton] is really starting to lock it in these last few days.”

This has put both hitters in the top four in home runs and RBIs on Friday night. Judge ranked first in home runs (12) and fourth in RBIs (27), while Stanton was tied for third in home runs (10) and ranks second in RBIs (30).

“Big G is enjoying himself,” Judge said. “He’s a guy that can take over a game, and he’s a game-changer. You just need to sit back and stay out of his way.”

With Judge playing like an MVP favorite and Stanton continuing to hit the ball well, it has carried over to their teammates.

“Stanton and Judge are exceptional ballplayers,” Donaldson said. “But I think what’s really making us go right now is one through nine. And when you can do that, it takes the pressure off of everybody else.”

And it did.

After Stanton and Judge’s blasts, Joey Gallo homered in the fifth inning and Donaldson in the ninth as the Yankees scored 10-plus runs for the sixth time this season. They did that just six times all of last season.

“This is what we feel like we’re capable of,” Boone said. “It’s a good team that we are playing against, and it’s good to see everyone chip in.”

In addition to nearly every player contributing to this win, they all had each other’s backs in the first inning, when the benches cleared after White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson shoved Josh Donaldson after they collided on a tag play at third base.

“I leaned on him a little bit, not intentionally, to make the tag,” Donaldson said. “And obviously he didn't like that. It's just two guys competing trying to make a play happen right there."