Aaron Judge says Yankees blocked out ‘noise and distractions’ in series against Blue Jays
If you weren’t paying attention to this week’s Yankees, Blue Jays series you missed a lot.
Managers yelling at third-base coaches, a sticky substance ejection, a side-eye from a reigning MVP, monster home runs, an assistant hitting coach being called a “fat boy” and so much more.
Ultimately, the Yankees won their four-game series with Toronto, 3-1, to continue their forward momentum and upward trajectory through the AL East standings.
“It was a good series. A lot of guys came up clutch, offensively and even some great pitching performances,” Aaron Judge said after Thursday’s 4-2 win. “[Ryan] Weber coming in to help out Nestor [Cortes] to get through some solid innings for us. [Albert] Abreu picking it up in the eighth and Ron [Marinaccio] getting his first career save in the ninth. It was great. All around, guys stepping up each night.”
Judge was at the center of a lot of the so-called controversy in this series. Monday night, Judge was caught looking somewhere on the field during an at-bat that ultimately ended with him hitting a home run. It became a talking point for the Toronto broadcasters during the game and on sports radio/tv the next day as the conversation around sign-stealing dominated the airwaves.
It got to a point where Judge even voiced his frustration with the broadcasters the next day, and that would spill out onto the field from both sides.
The Blue Jays manager questioned why the Yankees’ first and third-base coaches were not in the designated boxes -- despite no team’s coaches doing that themselves, including Toronto -- and both dugouts chirped at each other in various parts of the series.
When asked if the “chippiness” of the series gave some added motivation, Judge said it didn’t.
"We were focused on what we can control between the lines. We did a pretty good job blocking out all the noise and distractions the whole series. Went out there and took care of our business."
He added, “I’m just trying to do my job. I was upset but nothing I could do about that. I still have to go out there and play.”
Judge certainly took care of business, going 6-for-14 with four home runs and seven RBI in the four-game series. The performance had manager Aaron Boone call it “MVP-ish” especially considering everything going on. In fact, since his return from the IL (10 games), Judge has hit like an MVP, batting .324 with six home runs and 14 RBI. His production has helped the Yanks go 7-3 since he returned and get to 26-20 on the year.
With New York leaving the hostile environment in Toronto, they'll look to continue their momentum and their pursuit of the Tampa Bay Rays atop the AL East this weekend when they travel to Cincinnati to go against the Reds.
It should be a lot quieter for Judge and the Yankees there.