In Tuesday's epic comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Aaron Judge hit his 60th home run of the year, moving him one away from matching Roger Maris's 1961 record of 61 for the American League in a single season.
Wednesday night's second game of a six-game home series at Yankee Stadium will be Judge's first opportunity to face up against Maris.
The three players who have hit more home runs in a season than Maris—National Leaguers Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa—have all been linked to using performance-enhancing drugs, which adds some mystery to Judge's chase.
With a height of 6 feet 7 inches and a weight of 282 pounds, Judge is one of the biggest players in baseball history. He has played his entire career while Major League Baseball has been testing players for a number of illegal substances.
The Yankees and Pirates matchup is set to begin at 7:05 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. In the New York region, it will air on the YES Network, while in Pittsburgh, it will air on AT&T Sportsnet. Everywhere else, it will be streamed through the MLB At-Bat app.
Not for too long! Given that Judge has historically batted leadoff for the Yankees, he will almost certainly be the first player up in the bottom of the first inning. After that, it will depend on how his fellow Yankees players hit.
No and yes. Bonds had 64 through 147 team games in 2001 compared to Judge's 60 this year, so the M.L.B. single-season record, which is 73, is certainly out of his reach. However, reaching 62 would give Judge sole possession of the A.L. record. He is already one of only two A.L. batters to reach 60 home runs, with fellow Yankees Babe Ruth (1927) and Roger Maris (1961).
Although it is feasible, Judge will need to find a higher gear than the one he has so far in order to threaten Bonds' single-season record.
On Wednesday, a 22-year-old rookie right-hander from the Dominican Republic named Roansy Contreras will take the mound. He has a 3.24 E.R.A. and a 5-4 record this year. He has been pitching well, with four straight starts in which he allowed one earned run or fewer, but just one of those starts lasted the full six innings. He has not pitched deep into games.