Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jay Jackson was rocking his pitches Monday night when he gave up a home run to New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, he confirmed to The Athletic. The judge was seen glancing to his right during the batting attackand the Blue Jays made it clear that they believed Judge was looking to receive some sort of briefing before the pitch.
“It’s kind of weird for a hitter to look that way,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider told MLB.com. “He’s obviously looking in that direction for a reason. I think we’re going to delve into that a bit more tonight and tomorrow, and make sure we’re doing everything we can not to make ourselves susceptible to trends, locations , locations or something like that.”
Jackson, who was picked for Triple-A after Monday’s game, told The Athletic he raised his hands to his head before every pitch, which could have allowed the first baseman coach of the Yankees, Travis Chapman, to see his grip. Chapman could then have relayed the type of incoming pitch to the judge with some sort of visual cue. Jackson also said his pacing was an issue. Athletics:
“From what I was told, I was kind of rocking the pitch,” said Jackson, who after striking out the first two batters in the eighth inning, threw the judge six straight sliders, the last on 3-2. “It was (less) my grip when I came behind my ear. It was the moment when it took me out of my fixed position, my glove coming from my head to my hip. On fastballs, I was doing it a little faster than on the sliders. They were kind of figuring it out.”
Jackson threw eight fastballs and 13 sliders in his working inning, and all six pitches to the judge were sliders. The sixth slider was an 84-mph hanger for a 462-foot homer, his second homer of the game. After the match, the judge said he looked to his right to see who was tweeting in the team dugout after manager Aaron Boone was sent off.
“There was a lot of chirping from our dugout, which I didn’t really like in a situation where it’s a 6-0 game and Boonie got thrown out,” Judge told MLB.com. “I was trying to save Boonie by calling timeout, like, ‘Hey, wait here. Let me work here.’ I was kind of trying to see who was tweeting in the dugout, it’s 6-0 and Boonie was thrown in. Let’s just get to work.
There’s a big difference between picking up a pitcher who is rocking his pitches and using electronic equipment to steal signs like the 2017 Houston Astros. Players or coaches who pick up a pitcher’s say and relay that information to the batter are fair game. It’s just normal baseball play, which seems to be what happened with Jackson on Monday.
The Blue Jays weren’t happy that Chapman and Yankees third baseman coach Luis Rojas were posted well outside the coach’s box and it spilled into Tuesday’s game, when the Toronto dugout and Rojas exchanged words. For what it’s worth, coaches rarely stay in the coaches’ room. Who walk around outside the coach’s box throughout the game to get the best vantage point.
“It’s tired. I hope not,” Boone said Tuesday when asked if the coach’s shenanigans would continue in the final two games of the series.. “It’s just nonsense. It’s nonsense. It’s ridiculous. I think everyone – I hope on both sides – realizes that.”
Judge hit the game-winning home run in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game and hit three homers in the first two games of this eventful four-game series at Rogers Centre. In addition to the judge’s gaze and the coach’s box problems, Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán was ejected from Tuesday’s game after being caught with a foreign substance.