Despite HR, Judge sets dubious strikeout mark

NEW YORK — Given that he hit a 457-foot home run into the third deck in left field, New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge was undaunted that he also set the major league record for consecutive games with a strikeout by a position player.

Judge whiffed in the ninth inning Wednesday night against New York Mets reliever Erik Goeddel, giving him a strikeout in 33 straight games, breaking the single-season mark set by Adam Dunn in 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Judge smiled when a reporter brought up that he had set the mark, not long after giving a simple “no” when another writer asked if strikeouts bother him.

“Was I aware [of the record]?” Judge said with a grin. “I was told before the game that I tied the record. I think you just informed me that I broke the record, so thank you. There’s nothing I can really say.”

Judge was a little more serious in evaluating his strikeout penchant in greater detail.

“There are some great pitchers in this league,” Judge said. “You’re going to get fooled sometimes. They’re going to get you. If I keep taking my good swings, swing at the right pitches, good things will happen.”

Judge is two games shy of the single-season record for consecutive games with a strikeout for any player — 35, set by Montreal Expos pitcher Bill Stoneman in 1971.

Judge’s home run overshadowed the strikeouts, at least for his teammates, who felt the blast traveled an even longer distance than Statcast measured this one. Didi Gregorius, who had a good view from the on-deck circle, thought it could have gone 500-plus feet but also admitted, “I could be wrong.”

Judge’s popout with the bases loaded in the seventh inning likely will be forgotten, as well, given that the next batter, Gregorius, hit the game-deciding two-run double in the Yankees’ 5-3 Subway Series victory at Citi Field.

Although Judge extended his strikeout streak, he ended another streak of note. His sixth-inning single gave him his first multihit game since July 18, after going 24 games without doing so.

Judge is hitting .185 since the All-Star break, albeit with a .346 on-base percentage. His .398 slugging percentage during that time span is down from his .691 prior to the break, and his strikeout rate has jumped from 30 percent to 37 percent of his plate appearances.

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