It was the start of another big showdown with the first-place Toronto Blue Jays as Chase Whitley took the mound for the Yankees against Marcus Stroman at Rogers Centre. Apparently the Jays were really mad about the sweep last week because they took the Yankees behind the proverbial woodshed and really did a number on them.
Our journey to Hell begins in the bottom of the first, when Adam Lind followed up a Melky Cabrera double with a run-scoring single. Then in the second things completely went to hell. After Whitley loaded the bases, Jose Reyes grounded into a fielder's choice to make it 2-0. Cabrera singled in two more to make it 4-0. Adam Lind followed with a three run homer that brought in Cabrera and Reyes to make it 7-0. Game over, find out what else is on television. Joe Girardi tried desperately to get a little more length out of Whitley, sending him out for the third and fouth innings. Whitley made it through the third okay, but he was mercifully pulled after a Dioner Navarro single scored Toronto's eighth run.
Unsurprisingly, the Yankees put forth another odious effort on offense again tonight. Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the third. That's just about it. Stroman cruised through the lineup with ease allowing only a total of four baserunners in his eight innings of work. The Yankees managed to plate a second and third run in the top of the ninth courtesy of a Yangervis Solarte RBI single and a Kelly Johnson bloop double . Basically the most meaningless runs ever. So take solace in this, Chase: you weren't the only guy out there in a gray uniform that had an awful night.
Whitley was certainly going to have a bad start at some point. After all, pitching to a 2.5 ERA as an unheralded rookie isn't something that's done with too much frequency. That being said, you had hoped it wouldn't have been a drubbing to this degree. The game was basically out of reach by the third inning, not that it could be assumed the paltry Yankees offense would do much more than it did if they weren't in a massive hole. Oh well. Whitley just needs to move on and make the necessary adjustments for his next start. Even with this awful start his numbers are more than good enough to not be concerned about his place in the rotation at the moment.
As for the offense, with each passing day it's more and more obvious that it needs an immediate and significant boost. Waiting on players to start hitting like their career lines suggest doesn't seem to be working. Whether it's via trade or a promotion from within, something needs to be done. I try not to be too reactionary, but holy hell it just seems to be happening again and again that this team can't manage anything of note off of an opposing starting pitcher. It's maddening.
Game two of the series begins tomorrow at 7:07 PM. David Phelps and Mark Buehrle are your probables.