Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Stewart took turns tossing more dirt on the Yankees' grave tonight in an uninspiring 7-2 loss.
Both the Yankees and Blue Jays had a man on second with one out in the first inning...and that's where the similarities end. Derek Jeter smacked a vintage Jeter opposite-field double in the top of the first, but advanced no further after Curtis Granderson flew out and Alfonso Soriano struck out to end the frame. The Jays, on the other hand, had a field day after Ryan Goins' one-out double. Following an Edwin Encarnacion ground out, Kuroda walked Adam Lind, gave up a stinging two-run double to Brett Lawrie, and hit Rajai Davis with a pitch. With the game quickly getting out of hand, Kuroda buckled down to get J.P. Arencibia on a called third strike....until:
Prior to this evening, I'll bet most of you had never seen a base runner score from first on a called third strike. Well leave it to Chris Stewart, God of Catching, to show you something you've never seen before on a baseball field.
What's that - you want another look? Well here you go! (Note: Best viewed accompanied by this music)
If you could take the essence of Willie Mays, and mold it into an un-athletic white guy who can neither hit nor catch baseballs, that would be our boy Chris. Just out of curiosity, let's check out Austin Romine's batting line for this month:
...but won't somebody please think of the defense!
The two-run passed ball staked the Blue Jays to a 4-0 lead before the end of the first, and Kuroda would make sure it didn't didn't stay that way for long. Over the next two innings the Blue Jays would stretch their lead to 7-0, thanks to a two-run dinger off the bat of Encarnacion and a sac fly from Jose Reyes. Kuroda would stay in to pitch through the fifth, for some reason, ending with a line of 5 IP, 9 H, 7 R (5 ER). So now the Yankees have two aces not pitching like aces...which is not optimal.
The Blue Jays countered on the mound with the unknown Todd Redmond - a generic two-pitch, sinker-slider guy. Naturally, he mostly had his way with the Yankees lineup, striking out seven in 5.2 innings. The Yankees actually had a chance to make a game of it in the fourth - each of the first three hitters reached base, capped by an RBI single from Alex Rodriguez. With one out, Soriano on third and A-Rod on first, Mark Reynolds hit a double over the head of the right fielder. Soriano scored easily, but third base coach Rob Thompson - in a move that will surely win the award for Dumbest Send of the Year - waved A-Rod home. Keep in mind: this was a five-run game, there was only one out, and Alex is 38 years old and coming off major hip surgery. Of course, he was out by ten feet, and the Yankees never again mounted any offense
After that? Umm...let's see... Joba Chamberlain pitched two scoreless innings, so you might want to pick up some lottery tickets tonight. Girardi went to Boone Logan for a lefty-lefty match-up with one out in the eighth inning of a five-run game, probably because it's mandated by his contract. I gotta be honest with you, I spent most of the last few innings watching unicycle football.
After a day off, the Yankees will head to Baltimore for a critical series against the Orioles. A sweep is probably needed. Austin Romine is definitely needed.