Jobu Reviews The Yankees series win in Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays.
I mentioned in our last review that I was glad the Yankees at least got to play the Blue Jays as a nice little break before playing the Rangers, Red Sox and White Sox next week, and that’s basically what this series ended up being. The Yankees took the first two games of the series pretty easily and won the series, although they did lose the last game. A series win, however, is a series win, and we’ll take it any way we can get it. By the way, has anyone seen the Jays roster? Who the hell is even on their team?
Game 1: Yankees 10, Blue Jays 4
The score may indicate a blowout, but this game was a lot closer than it would seem. The Yankees scored seven of their ten runs in the last two innings, turning a close pitchers’ duel between Freddy García and Rickey Romero into a comfortable blowout.
Fifth Day Freddy
I know I’ve said García isn’t the answer at fifth starter, especially once the playoffs come around, but he pitched very well in this game, and he was also actually used very well by Joe Girardi too. Freddy gave up a run in the second on a home run by Johnson, and a run in the fourth. That was all the Blue Jays would get in a brief, but effective, outing in the Rogers Centre. his final line looked like this: 6 Ip, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 78 pitches and his sixth win of the season (6-5). While taking a pitcher out after 78 pitches might seem unwise, I felt that was a great time to life Freddy. He’d given them six great innings, and just because he had a low pitch count, didn’t mean he wouldn’t suddenly blow what was a small lead at the time. Kudos, Joe.
Boone Logan got the first two outs of the seventh inning, which was finished off by Joba Chamberlain. Joba Started the eighth, but was pulled in favor of David Robertson after Anthony Gose led off with a single. Robertson finished the eighth, and for some reason, Girardi used two pitchers to get through the ninth (Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley) to finish the ninth inning in a six run game. Oh well, winner winner.
Stomp They Neck
As the great John Thompson once said, when you have a team down, you gotta “stomp they neck” and put the game away. That seemed to be the Yankees strategy late in this game. They took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on an error by Jays’ catcher Jeff Mathis and a fielder’s choice groundout by Ichiro Suzuki. Robinson Canó drove in Nick Swisher with a single in the top of the third that gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead. The Jays made it 3-2 in the fourth, and it stayed that way until the top of the eighth.
Mark Teixeira opened the inning with his 22nd home run of the season to make it a 4-2 game. With two outs, Jayson Nix singled and moved to third on a bloop single by Russell Martin that literally hit Jays’ second baseman Kelly Johnson in the head and dropped in. I think Johnson lost the ball in the lights, but it was pretty funny and Martin went to second on the throw. That brought up Ichiro, who hit a hard line drive single that hit pitcher Steve Delabar’s glove on the way through the box. That scored both Nix and Martin, and the Yankees led 6-2.
In the top of the ninth, the Yankees tacked on four more runs on an RBI double by Swisher, an RBI single by Raúl Ibañez and a two-run “double” by Ichiro. I put it in quotes because it was another soft fly ball that was lost in the lights, this time by Rajai Davis. We’ll take it, and a 10-4 win.
Notable Offense: HR – Teixeira (22), RBI – Ichiro 5 (39), Canó (66), Teixeira (76), Swisher (57), Ibañez (51), 2 hits for Jeter (3,236), Swisher, Canó and Ichiro (2,551)
Game 2: Yankees 5, Blue Jays 2
The Yankees needed this win, but more importantly, they needed a good performance from Iván Nova. Nova was scheduled to face former Yankee Aaron Laffey, whom the Yankees should have knocked around. The way Nova had been pitching of late, there was no guaranteed win though. In the end, Nova finally had himself a solid start, and the Yankees won game two.
That’s How You Do It
After his last start, I was saying that maybe the Yankees should consider moving Nova out of the rotation. Not saying I had anything to do with it, but Iván clearly stepped it up in this game, and definitely got me off his back… for now. Nova pitched effectively and efficiently, and got into the eighth inning for the first time since June 28th. His final line looked like this: 7.1 Ip, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 Ks, 105 pitches and his 11th win of the season (11-6). Robertson finished off the eighth inning, and Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth for his 28th save of the season. Untuck your shirt, cuz the Yankees win.
Part Timers For the Win
My brother sent me a text early during this game that said “Nix, Stewart and McGehee are the bottom of the order. Did I go to the AAA Gameday by mistake?” I quickly wrote back, “Yeah really. I like when Girardi tries to lose.” Minutes later, we were both eating our words. It was the top of the fourth inning, and the Yankees and Jays were embroiled in a 0-0 game. A two out single by Nix scored Teixeira, who had reached on a single and moved to second on a walk to Andruw Jones with one out, and the Yankees led 1-0. Casey McGehee then came up and hit a 1-1 fastball into the second deck in left-center for his first home run as a Yankee. The three-run homer gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead, and basically won them the game, although the Yankees did tack on a run in the top of the sixth on a ground rule double by Derek Jeter.
Notable Offense: HR – McGehee (1), RBI – Nix (14), McGehee 3 (4), Jeter (35), 2 hits for Jeter (3,238) and McGehee
Game 3: Blue Jays 10, Yankees 7
With the series win in the books, the Yankees were going for the sweep with Phil Hughes on the mound against JA Happ, whom the Jays recently acquired from the Houston Astros in their “everything must go, leaving the NL” fire sale. Happ was making his second start of the season for the Jays, and he would get his first win too. The Jays got off to a huge lead and managed to hold the Yankees off for the rest of the game, as the Bombers’ comeback efforts fell just short.
For the second straight outing, Hughes simply didn’t pitch very well in this game. Unlike in his last game, he didn’t squirrel his way out of trouble whenever he got men on. The Jays lit him up for one run in the first and six in the fourth. Two of those scored on a two-run home run by Edwin Encanación, the others scored on a whole lot of Blue Jay hits. Hughes’ final line looked like this: 4 Ip, 9 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 80 pitches and his tenth loss of the season (11-10). There seemed to be very little the Yankees pitchers could do against the Jays lineup, despite the fact that I had to look up three of their hitters because I’d never heard of them. Go figure.
The actual winning runs scored off of Ryota Igarashi, whom the Yankees like to call up from time to time to drive up their bullpen ERA for the season. Igarashi was actually only up for one game, because reinforcements (sort of) are on their way on Monday, but we’ll have more on that later. Eppley, Rapada and Chamberlain also pitched in this game, which is fun.
Great Job, Good Effort
The Yankees were down 7-0 and 10-1 in this game, so no one would have blamed the offense if they just packed it in and started preparing for the Texas Rangers, but they ended up almost coming all the way back in this game. They showed some gumption, got it together and put up seven runs. Normally, this is enough for them to win the game, so I came away happy with their performance. Their first run came on an RBI double by McGehee in the top of the fifth. The next three runs came in the sixth on a solo home run by Jeter, and a two-run home run by Canó. That was enough to chase Happ from the game, but the Yankees weren’t done.
In the seventh, Nix doubled in Curtis Granderson and Jeter doubled in Nix to make it a 10-6 game. Swisher then came up and singled in Jeter, and suddenly we had a three-run game. Darren Oliver came in to try to shut the Yankees down and loaded the bases by allowing a double to Teixeira and hitting Canó, which brought up Jones. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Jones’ recent slump continued, and he was unable to further the scoring. The Yankees would not get another chance.
Notable Offense: HR – Jeter (9), Canó (25), RBI – McGehee (5), Jeter 2 (37), Canó 2 (68), Nix (15), Swisher (58), 3 hits for Jeter (3,241) and 2 hits for Swisher.
The Yankees got some bad news in this series. Before game two, the announced that CC Sabathia was headed back to the DL, this time with some elbow stiffness. Apparently, CC felt it in his last start, but it wasn’t that bad. He then woke up this weekend and couldn’t touch his finger to his shoulder. His wife basically made him tell the Yankees under threat of outing him herself, and the team responded by disabling him for the next fifteen days against his will. His immediate spot in the rotation will be taken by David Phelps, but the Yankees also announced that they had signed Derek Lowe, who had been recently released by the Indians. I’m not sure if they secretly want to use Lowe in the rotation, but I don’t really care. This is a win/win for the Yankees. If Lowe does well in the bullpen, or as a secret starter, it’s a great pickup. He he struggles, they can just cut him loose and find someone else. Solid move by the Yankees.
Sabathia’s injury is a bit of a concern. It’s one thing for The Big Lefty™ to strain a groin or hamstring, but elbow stiffness can often lead to catastrophic type surgeries, missed seasons, etc. I’ll trust what the Yankees have said about the injury and that it won’t be too serious, but I won’t feel ok about it until CC is back in two weeks and fully healthy. I’m just glad the Yankees are going with the cautious approach here. Better safe than sorry. Here’s hoping…
Featured image courtesy of: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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