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Aaron Judge and Gerritt Cole Combine for Special Historic Night in Texas

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Remember where you were when… That is the theme of Tuesday night for Yankees (and baseball fans in general) around the world. Not one, but two Yankees made history on Tuesday night in Arlington against the Rangers, and in the same inning. The first inning was an inning to remember.

History started on the first pitch of game two of the doubleheader between the Yankees and Rangers as Aaron Judge FINALLY sent his historic 62nd home run of the season out to deep left field to surpass the record that Roger Maris’ set 95 years ago to give Judge the American Lead record in home runs hit in a single-season. Judge entered Tuesday night knowing he had just two games left of the regular season to get it done. In game one he showed a rare bout of frustration as he continued to struggle at the plate since hitting his 61st home run in Toronto. But clearly that did not phase him entering game two.

With all eyes on Judge once again in the top of the first in game two, he took the third pitch of the game deep and trotted around the base pads with nothing but a huge smile on his face. He was greeted at the plate by his teammates and on the road, received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance. Per statcast, Judge’s 62nd home run would have been a home run in 29 of 30 of the major league ballparks. It was a no-doubter and no matter where it would have been hit, it would have likely gone out. He was chasing history. He has now accomplished history. Aaron Judge now stands as the American League single-season home run leader with 62 home runs.

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Along with leading the American League in home runs, Judge also has the seventh most home runs ever in a season among all of major league baseball.

And to top off  a record night, No. 99 hits his 62nd home run on the night that the Yankees have a  99-62 record. Call it a coincidence. Call it meant to be. It’s history for No. 99.

Then in the bottom half of the first, Gerritt Cole kept the excitement going for the Yankees as he struck out his 249th batter of the season to become the Yankees’ single-season leader in strikeouts. Prior to Tuesday night’s game, he was tied with Ron Guidry at 248 strikeouts. Guidry set that record in 1978. But on Tuesday night, with his first strikeout of the night, Cole took the lead at 249 strikeouts. With that strikeout coming in the first, Cole went on to collect a total nine strikeouts in the game to bring his season total to 257 strikeouts, the most of any Yankee in franchise history.

Cole also joins a special group of just five pitchers who have single-season strikeout records for multiple franchises. Along with now holding the record in New York, he also holds the record in Houston for the Astros.

With Cole’s 257 strikeouts and Judge’s 62 home runs, the Yankees became the first team in major league history to have a batter with 60+ home runs (Judge) and a pitcher with 250+ strikeouts (Cole) in the same season.

Judge spoke with the media following Tuesday night’s game. He said it was a big relief to finally get No. 62 behind him.

“It’s a big relief. I feel like everyone can finally sit in their seats and watch the ballgame,” said Judge. “It’s been a fun ride,” Judge proclaimed as he thanked his teammates, coaches, family, and Roger Maris Jr. for being there to support him throughout the journey to history.

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“it’s pretty surreal,” said Judge about having his teammates waiting for him at home plate. “To get to hug them all and them saying congratulations,” that’s what it’s all about for me. Those guys are grinding it out with me every single day, and they’ve been on this journey through the ups and downs; getting a chance to share that moment with them on the field was pretty special that’s for sure.”

“A lot of thanks and congratulations to them (the Maris family) too.” Judge spoke on how he knows it was probably bittersweet for the Maris family as it’s their dad’s legacy. He thanked them for the constant support and explained the honor that it is to have his name next to the likes of Maris and Ruth in Yankees and MLB history.

He also thanked and complimented other players from around the league for supporting him this season, calling it one of the highest honors.

“It’s incredible. I think that’s one of the biggest honors is any compliment from your peers, the guys who are out there grinding just like you are on a daily basis. For them to tweet things out, say things like that, there’s no higher honor in my book.” “That’s what it’s always been for me and my teammates. It gives me chills to be honest.”

When asked if he’ll play in the final game of the regular season on Wednesday, Judge of course said he will play. “We’ll see what the skip has to say about it, but I’d like to be in there.”

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It’s safe to say that both Judge and Cole made their cases for being named American League MVP and Cy-Young Award Winner respectively for 2022.

Written By

Alexis Farinacci is a baseball beat writer and social media editor for the Pinstriped Prospects. Follow Alexis on Twitter & Instagram: @alexisfarinacci .

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