Advertisement

Yankees star Aaron Judge says scans negative for breaks after he was hit on hand by 94 mph pitch

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge smiled after X-rays and a CT scan were negative, causing the New York Yankees and their fans to exhale.

Hit on the left hand by a 94.1 mph fastball from Baltimore's Albert Suárez and forced from a 4-2 win on Tuesday night, Judge appeared to have escaped significant injury.

“Feeling better after I got some good news," Judge said after returning to Yankee Stadium from New York–Presbyterian 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.”

Judge missed 45 games with a broken right wrist after he was hit by a 93.4 mph pitch from Kansas City’s Jakob Junis on July 26, 2018.

Driving to Yankee Stadium following son Brandon's high school graduation, Yankees manager Aaron Boone was on the phone with general manager Brian Cashman when Judge was nailed in the third inning.

“He's like, `Oh, Judge just got hit' and was kind of describing he's grimacing and whatever, trying to describe where he got hit,” Boone said.

Gritting his teeth and flexing the hand, Judge took a few steps into fair territory before going to first base, where he was examined by Yankees head athletic trainer Tim Lentych.

“I was trying to go up and in, up and in, and I guess it was too much," Suárez said. “I did it before. He fouled it off, and I was trying to go in again and it happened to hit him.”

Judge said he was angry about getting hit and wasn’t making a move toward Suárez.

“You really don’t know where you are once you get hit like that," Judge said. "I kind of got twisted around there a little bit.”

Judge is batting .302 and leads the major leagues with 26 homers and 64 RBIs. The 32-year-old is a five-time All-Star and was the 2022 AL MVP after hitting 62 home runs to break the AL record of 61 by Roger Maris set in 1961.

Another big star, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts, broke his left hand Sunday when hit by a pitch from Dan Altavilla of the Kansas City Royals and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Yankees teammates took offense to Judge getting hit and noted after the game that Gleyber Torres was struck on the left hand by a 93.7 mph pitch from Keegan Akin in the fifth.

“I wouldn’t say I would expect anything to roll over, but I do expect that there’s going to be probably a little bit more edge, right?" outfielder Alex Verdugo said. “Our captain got hit, so just kind of got to see how it goes.”

Verdugo appeared to yell toward Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle from the dugout but said after the game “we're boys, so I was kind of busting him up a little bit, just messing around with him.”

“None of us are too pleased about it but at the same time I don’t believe that it was intentional,” Verdugo said. “It’s just one of those things got away — a couple pitches got away from their guys. Just one of those things — you hit somebody, you kind of need — maybe if you can’t go in, don’t go in that day, so it’s just one of those things. We’ll see what happens.”

Judge scored on Giancarlo Stanton's single and went to the clubhouse. He played center field in the top of the fourth inning and was lifted for pinch-hitter Trent Grisham in the bottom half.

“Any time you get hit by 94, 95 up and in like that and especially in the hands where there’s so many small bones,” Judge said, “you just never know what’s going to happen and what it’s going to be.”

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Ronald Blum, The Associated Press