It took until his final at-bat, but Aaron Judge set another record during his historic rookie season Wednesday night—just not a great one.
New York Mets reliever Erik Goeddel got Judge to strike out swinging in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 5-3 win over their cross-city rival. It's the 33rd consecutive game Judge has struck out, setting a record for a non-pitcher, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Aaron Judge has now struck out in 33 straight games, the most all-time in a single-season by non-pitcher per @EliasSports. https://t.co/bxGItAYAz42017-8-17 02:12:59
Bill Stoneman set the all-time record in 1971 with 35 consecutive games. Judge, the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year and an AL MVP candidate, began his streak July 8. He's seen his stats take a massive nosedive in nearly every category during the streak, including a .182 batting average in August heading into Wednesday.
There are, however, signs that Judge is getting out of his slump. His fourth-inning home run off Robert Gsellman was his second in three games, and he finished 2-for-5 Wednesday.
"I'm seeing the ball well. I've just got to keep swinging at the right pitches," Judge told reporters. "They've been pitching me tough on the corners, and when I get a pitch over the plate, I just can't miss it."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi also said the team has been encouraged by his recent progress at the plate. His home run Monday went to the opposite field, and he went to left center Wednesday—a sign that he's not tensing and trying to pull the ball.
"It tells you that mechanically he's more sound," Girardi said. "When we look at him, yeah, he's pulled some home runs, but we've seen a number of them in right and center. He's made some adjustments and he's feeling more comfortable in the box."
"It's better balance, it's being on time," the manager said. "There are a whole lot of things—especially with a guy that's 6-foot-7."
Judge also has a hit in four straight games, so perhaps he can break this streak.