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New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit by pitch as benches nearly clear

Vincent Frank

AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees are just not having a fun time at it right now. New York has lost 15 of 19 since a 69-33 start to the season. These recent struggles led to manager Aaron Boone losing his cool following Saturday’s 5-2 home loss to the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.

With New York and Toronto wrapping up their four-game set in the Bronx on Sunday and the road team looking to pull off the sweep, things got pretty heated.

Judge was hit in the left elbow on a pitch from Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah. It came with the Yankees up 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth and nearly led to a bench-clearing brawl.

As you can see, Judge had some words for Toronto’s starter before motioning back to his dugout for Yankees teammates to let it go. Ace starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was having none of it before things ultimately calmed down.

Here’s some context. If Judge and Manoah would have thrown punches, it likely would’ve led to multi-game suspensions with these two teams in the midst of a division race. It also would have been something given the fact that Judge stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 282 pounds. Manoah? Here’s a mere 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds.

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Aaron Judge situation latest example of New York Yankees frustration

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After their win against the Kansas City Royals back in July 30, the Yankees held a 12.5-game lead over Toronto in the American League East. They entered Sunday’s action just seven games ahead of their closest competitor.

New York’s struggles also come after the team was extremely active ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline. Since the deadline, it’s a mere 3-13 with newcomers Andrew Benintendi and Frankie Montas struggling big time.

“We gotta play better. Period. And the great thing is [slams hand on table] it’s right in front of us. It’s right here and we can fix it. We can run away with this thing. And we got the dudes in there to do it. If we don’t score, it’s tough to win. And I’ll ask these same questions. Am I perplexed? Yea, I am.”

New York Yankees’ Aaron Boone following Saturday’s loss

As for Aaron Judge, he’s joined the rest of the Yankees’ lineup in struggling big time recently. Still favored to win the AL MVP, the impending free agent entered Sunday’s action hitting a mere .148 with 10 strikeouts in 27 at-bats over the past eight games.