With Aaron Judge on the brink of history, the Boston Red Sox aren't going to stand in his way.
Judge is sitting on 60 home runs as his New York Yankees kick off a four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. The Yankee slugger needs just one home run to tie Roger Maris' American League record of 61, which has also stood as New York's franchise record since 1961.
Boston Red Sox News
With the Red Sox currently 18 games behind the Yankees in the AL East standings, they have no reason to intentionally walk Judge at any point during the series. Boston has nothing to play for except pride at this point, and proud players should want to challenge the best hitter in the game rather than surrender first base to him.
The Red Sox have to be careful, though, as they've been on the wrong side of history before. Maris belted No. 61 off Boston's Tracy Stallard on the final day of the 1961 regular season, surpassing Babe Ruth's MLB record that had stood since 1927.
Based on Judge's success against the Red Sox, history could very well repeat itself. Judge has 21 homers in 80 career games versus New York's archrivals, including 5 long balls in 14 games this year. He's also coming into this series red-hot with 14 homers and an absurd 1.503 OPS over his last 26 games.
Against a mediocre Boston pitching staff that has the seventh-highest ERA (4.45) in baseball this year, Judge will have plenty of opportunities to etch his name into the record books. As long as Red Sox pitchers hold up their end of the bargain and throw Judge strikes, there's a good chance he'll have a new record to celebrate by the time they leave town.