Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton play home run derby as Yankees clobber the Cubs 8-0 at the Stadium – The Denver Post


Giancarlo Stanton left no doubt. The Yankees slugger hit the ball so hard — the hardest hit ball in baseball this season — that it slammed into the sign in the front of the second deck and ricocheted back almost onto the field. That was one of a season-high six home runs the Yankees hammered Saturday night behind seven scoreless innings from Jordan Montgomery as they beat the Cubs 8-0 at the Stadium.

“I mean, we all just kind of look at each other and when he gets back to the dugout I’m like ‘You’re weird,’ that’s all I can say,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Aaron Judge hit two home runs for a major-league-leading 24 homers on the season (no one else has broken the 18-homer mark), which puts him on pace to hit a franchise 66 home runs this season.

Gleyber Torres, Anthony Rizzo and Jose Trevino each hit a homer. Montgomery anchored the Yankees’ ninth shutout of the season and the Yankees clinched their 15th series win on the season. They maintained the best record in baseball at 43-16.

Montgomery scattered five hits and stuck out five. He earned just his second win of the season, because of a lack of run support and not because of his quality, and posted his second scoreless start of the season. Most importantly for the Yankees, whose bullpen has been taxed by early exits from Nestor Cortes and Gerrit Cole this week and a 13-inning game Friday, Montgomery went seven innings.

The Yankees’ lefty had all his pitches working Saturday. He got 17 swing-and-misses, including five on his curveball.

He also had the benefit of a lot of run support.

“It’s definitely fun to see them put the barrel on the ball,” Montgomery said of the Yankees’ sluggers.

Montgomery’s Cubs counterpart, Matt Swarmer didn’t have as long of a night and it started out with a bang.

Swarmer started Judge off with a 90 mph fastball outside. He tried to put the exact same pitch by the Yankees slugger and watched it sail past him at 107 mph off the bat and land in the left field seats.

Judge hit his second of the night in the fifth. It was his 21st career multi-home run game and the fifth of the season.

“Unreal. Unreal. It’s fun to watch,” Stanton said of Judge’s season. “We all have the best seat in the house too, he’s gonna continue. We all  just kind of laugh as well.”

The Yankees’ bats were just warming up.

In his second at-bat of the night, in the fourth inning, Stanton obliterated a Swarmer slider. It was 119.8 mph off the bat. According to Statcast, that was the hardest hit in the majors this season and the hardest since Stanton hit one 120.3 mph on Sept. 16, 2021 in Baltimore. The Yankees scored their first six runs on homers.

Swarmer went five innings and six of the seven hits he allowed were homers. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.

But none was bigger than Stanton’s. That’s the case anytime he gets a hold of one. With his hit on Saturday night there have been 17 hits in the major leagues with an exit velocity of 119.8 since the start of the Statcast era (2015), Stanton owns 14 of them.

“It’s just fun watching him grind and his first at-bat was so good. Just gets the ball, 108 off the bat and [Cubs center fielder Christopher] Morel made a nice defensive play at the fence,” Boone said of Stanton’s at-bat in the first inning. “But it’s just watching his process and just watching him go out and wait for what he’s looking for and finally get it and then the same thing. I felt the same quality of at-bat [the first time up] and the next time, man, he hit it like only G can.”



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