The New York Yankees, who have struggled mightily since the All-Star break, finally got one in the win column with their 4-2 victory over their AL East division rival Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, but it did not come without drama.
Tensions boiled over during the fifth inning when Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah hit Yankees slugger Aaron Judge with a 92 mph fastball.
“Been struggling with my sinker for about five, six starts now,” Manoah said, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “I made a pitch and it obviously hit Judge. I looked at him, said, ‘Man, you know, I’m not trying to do that.'”
Manoah’s sinker hit Judge on the shoulder, the same spot in which he had barely missed earlier, and Judge became visibly upset, mouthing a few words to Manoah as he walked to the mound.
“[Judge] looked at me and he’s like, ‘That’s two,'” Manoah said. “In the first inning, I did mistakenly throw one up there as well. But obviously, in a situation like that, I’m trying to minimize baserunners. So I told him, ‘I’m not trying to do that.'”
This upset Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who would come out of the dugout followed by a handful of Yankee teammates during the exchange between Judge and Manoah, but Judge would waved them off.
Following the exchange, Manoah walked over to talk to Judge, who took first base, and appeared to calm the tensions.
“I think [Judge] understood that. And I think if Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time,” Manoah said.
“Just a little one too many [batters hit by pitch] for my taste. I don’t know what to say” Cole said following the game.
“He doesn’t like our guy getting drilled,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Sometimes we get caught up in this intentional thing, like if it’s not intentional, then fine. Sometimes we have a different take on that. When your dude gets hit, it usually gets your attention. I think [Judge] handled it great. I thought Gerrit was just sticking up for his guy, for our guy. It’s just two division rivals, playing for a lot, a little moment in the game, not much to it.”
“It’s the heat of the moment. Nobody likes to get hit,” Judge said. “Everybody’s watching the game, everybody’s into it. No matter who gets hit, everybody’s going to take exception to it. Dugout had a couple of things to say and then you move on.”+