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Yankees 0, Blue Jays 4: It just wasn't their night

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Ivan Nova pitched beautifully, but Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays' offense were better.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This was a game the Yankees had to win to stay within a reasonable distance of first place, and they did not. You really just have to tip your cap to the Blue Jays. They got a better pitching performance from a better pitcher, and their superior offense bested what was really just the bullpen for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees used all of their muster last night to pull out a win, only to find a close game they couldn't win today. The best thing the Yankees can do now is to just try their best to stay healthy to finish the season, and then roll the dice come wild card time. Their division chances aren't dead, but it would require the Blue Jays to implode.

The only reason the Yankees were even in this game for as long as they were was because of Ivan Nova, who pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing just one earned run, a run that was really in the hands of the bullpen. He got in some trouble in the first and second inning, but he stopped them, and kept the scoring at bay until the sixth. Marcus Stroman was brilliant. He allowed just five hits and a walk over seven innings, and everything was working; all of his pitches had life and killer movement, and he exhibited excellent command. David Price and Stroman in a short playoff series is nightmare fuel.

As I said, the game was scoreless until the sixth inning, when it all took a turn for the worst. Nova walked Russell Martin with two outs, and with 110 pitches, there was no way he would see yet another batter. Joe Girardi went with James Pazos to face Ryan Goins, and he allowed a single to bring Martin to third. Girardi then brought in Caleb Cotham to face Kevin Pillar, and he hit a single that drove in the first run.

In the top of the seventh inning, Stroman's final inning, the Yankees threatened with runners on first and second for Dustin Ackley. Ackley hit an absolute laser, but right at Pillar, and the inning was over. Brian McCann also hit a liner in that inning that just missed the foul line in right field, so as much as this game featured an anemic Yankees team, luck was not on their side as well.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the game was blown open when Russell Martin hit a three-run home run off of Andrew Bailey. It didn't matter, though, because the Yankees failed to score a run in the eigth or ninth inning against Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna.

Ultimately, this game showed a lot of things. Firstly, this showed that the Blue Jays are an objectively better team. With Stroman back (not to mention Price), and with injuries to Masahiro Tanaka and Nathan Eovaldi, you could even say their pitching has been better. Their offense, obviously, has been better overall.

The Yankees also showed how little bullpen depth they have beyond Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller, and the recent demise of Chasen Shreve--combined with Adam Warren moving to the rotation--has only exacerbated that fact. The Yankees used every good reliever they had last night to seal the win, and tonight they were left with pitchers who played most of the season with Triple-A.

The Yankees will play the Chicago White Sox tomorrow, and Michael Pineda will face Chris Sale. The Blue Jays have a day off tomorrow, so a win would bring them within three games, if that matters to you. The game will start at 7:05 PM EST, and you can catch it on YES Network or MLB Network.

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