Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees housed a myriad of factors for a potentially delicious rivalry moving into Major League Baseball’s postseason: American League East rivals, outspoken and underperforming ace’s and a superstar getting plunked. You couldn’t ask for more than that.
In the fifth inning of the AL East matchup, Toronto starter Alek Manoah let a sinker run too far inside on AL MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge, plunking him on the elbow guard. Yankees starter Gerrit Cole was none too pleased.
Cole immediately jumped out of the dugout to bark at Manoah. The reason (other than his superstar outfielder getting a boo-boo) for Cole’s anger is a curiosity, as nothing would have provoked Manoah to intentionally throw at a Yankee in the midst of a one-run divisional game.
Manoah would agree with the curiosity surrounding Cole’s anger, giving a provocative statement following the game.
“If Gerrit wants to do something, he can walk past the Audi sign next time,” Manoah said, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.
The Audi sign that Manoah was referring to is the advertisement painted along the first base line.
Even Cole was confused by his own actions, saying, “It was just one too many for my taste, I don’t know what to say. My heartbeat was going. I don’t know. I guess I was just on one today,” according to Joe Trezza of MLB.com.
With the 4-2 win, New York extended its divisional lead to eight games over second-place Toronto. Perhaps the two teams and starters will find themselves matching up in the postseason.