Yankees slugger hit 5 homers, had 9 RBIs in 6 games
By Joe Trezza
Aaron Judge is on fire again, just in time for the approaching postseason. On Monday he was named American League Player of the Week after a torrid seven-day stretch.
Judge hit five home runs over a six-game stretch, finishing the week with 48 total. That put him one away from Mark McGwire's rookie record, set with Oakland in 1987, and he surpassed the record in Monday's 11-3 win against the Royals, hitting a two-run shot in the third inning and a solo homer in the seventh to reach 50. It was a mark that once looked well within Judge's grasp, and then for a while looked unobtainable as he slumped in the second half. But Judge refound his swing this month, and really got locked in last week. The right fielder went 9-for-21 (.429) with a .481 on-base percentage, five home runs and nine RBIs. The Yankees went 4-2 over that stretch against the Twins and Blue Jays, clinching a spot in the AL Wild Card Game in the process.
"He hasn't been missing his pitches," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There is a mechanical thing there. When he was going through his struggles, he continued to walk. I always said that's a good sign, especially for a young player. When you go into slumps, sometimes young player get overanxious. He was able to maintain what he needed to do -- that he needed to be patient and work for every pitch. Now he's not missing his pitches. That's the big thing."
Judge has 13 home runs in September, more than he has hit in any other month this season.
The award is the second for Judge this year. He's the Yankees' only Player of the Week this season, and the first to win in multiple weeks since Gary Sanchez last August.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.