Aaron Judge feels ‘big relief’ for dodging a repeat of 2018 ordeal

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge reacts to getting hit by a pitch from Baltimore Orioles’ Albert Suárez during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Pamela Smith
Joe Najarian
Wednesday June 19, 2024

Table of Contents

In a relief for the Yankees, Aaron Judge seems to have avoided serious injury after being hit on his left hand by a pitch during Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over the Orioles. The slugger reported that post-game X-rays and a CT scan showed no significant damage, and he was hopeful about returning to the lineup for Wednesday’s game.

The incident brought back memories of a previous wrist fracture from a similar situation years ago, but Aaron Judge remains optimistic that the current swelling will subside without further issues.

“Feeling better after I got some good news,” the Yankees captain told following his return from the hospital. “A big relief. Just being hit there before a couple of years ago and breaking the wrist, you never know what’s going to happen. So finding out that it’s not fractured, not broken, is definitely a sigh of relief.”

Aaron Judge had to miss 45 games when a 93.4 mph pitch hit him on July 26, 2018, during a game against the Royals’ Jakob Junis.

Yankees’ anger spills over after Aaron Judge hit by pitch

Hopes for Aaron Judge’s quick return seemed bleak when Orioles pitcher Albert Suarez hit him with a 94-mph fastball. The Yankees’ frustration grew further when Gleyber Torres was also struck on the left hand by a 93-mph fastball from Keegan Akin later in the game.

DJ LeMahieu voiced the team’s displeasure, suggesting that while the pitches might not have been intentional, Suarez’s lack of control should have kept him from throwing dangerously close to their star players. After the incident, Aaron Judge was seen grimacing in pain and, clearly agitated, took a few steps toward Suarez.

“You go up and in on our best player, hit him, and come back and do it again on Gleyber, nobody’s gonna be happy about it,” DJ LeMahieu said. “[Suarez] has pretty good command. It’s not intentional, but you can’t mess around right there.”

The comments by Nestor Cortes and Allex Verdugo hinted at a potential escalation in the Yankees vs. Orioles rivalry after the opponent pitcher struck their captain.

“You shouldn’t be throwing that close to the head,” argued Cortes. “Regardless of if it’s Judge or anyone else, we don’t want any of our guys getting pitched up and in.”

Yankees' Aaron Judge leaves the game after getting hit by a 94mph fastball against the Baltimore Orioles on 18th June, 2024.
New York Post

Alex Verdugo expressed concern about the pitch that struck Judge, along with several other pitches that came uncomfortably close to batters’ hands. While not anticipating any direct retaliation, Verdugo suggested that the incident involving their captain would likely heighten tensions and sharpen the team’s focus moving forward.

“There’s going to probably be a little bit more edge,” Verdugo warned. “Our captain got hit. Just kind of got to see how it goes.”

Aaron Judge expressed visible frustration after being hit by the pitch, noting that while the Orioles often throw high and inside, a couple of pitches were uncomfortably close. Despite his anger, Aaron Judge headed to first base, where trainer Tim Lentych checked his hand for fractures by assessing his ability to squeeze it.

Although Aaron Judge initially stayed in the game, the Yankees later announced he would undergo further imaging at NewYork-Presbyterian under the care of team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad. The slugger took his position in center field for the top of the fourth inning but was replaced by pinch-hitter Trent Grisham in the bottom half of the frame.

Aaron Judge expressed his determination to avoid missing any games, especially against the Orioles, despite the injury scare. He decided to stay in the game defensively, giving Trent Grisham time to prepare for his pinch-hit appearance in the fourth inning, as Judge recognized his inability to swing the bat effectively.

The Yankees were reminded of Aaron Judge’s significance last season when their campaign faltered after he injured his foot by colliding with the outfield fence at Dodger Stadium. This year, he has been the catalyst for the Yankees’ offensive resurgence, leading them to the top of the AL East standings.

Aaron Judge’s remarkable performance since overcoming a slow start has been instrumental in the Yankees’ impressive season, positioning him as the frontrunner for the AL MVP award. Entering Tuesday’s game, He led the majors in various offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs, walks, slugging percentage, and OPS, while also leading the AL in doubles.

Ghost of 2023 causes anxiety

The New York Yankees experienced firsthand the detrimental impact of Aaron Judge’s absence last season. The star player appeared in only 105 games due to a hip injury and a broken foot sustained on June 3 at Dodger Stadium, causing him to miss 42 consecutive games. Before Aaron Judge’s second injury, the Yankees had a respectable 35-25 record, but their performance declined to 53-49 upon his return on July 28, ultimately resulting in the team missing the playoffs with a disappointing 82-80 record.

This year, Aaron Judge has been the driving force behind the Yankees’ success, leading them to the best record in the majors while delivering another MVP-caliber season. Despite a slow start, hitting just .197 through May 2, Judge quickly found his rhythm and maintained a torrid pace heading into the crucial series against the Orioles, who entered the series trailing the Yankees by only 1.5 games for the top spot in the AL East. Including his 1-for-1 performance with a hit-by-pitch on Tuesday, Aaron Judge boasts an impressive .302 batting average, 26 home runs, 64 RBI, and a 1.115 OPS in 74 games, leading the majors in homers, RBI, walks, and OPS.

Following Aaron Judge’s departure, the Yankees endured another setback when second baseman Gleyber Torres was hit by a pitch on the left hand by Orioles lefty reliever Keegan Akin. Despite the incident, Torres remained in the game.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!