Normally I’m amped up for games where the Yankees face the Blue Jays, probably due to the fact most of my friends and family cheer for the
birdbrains bluebirds. Tonight, thanks to being down early and then being shut down offensively, felt like a pretty sleepy game for a change. In the end the Yankees dropped the series opener, 4-2.
CC Sabathia was ineffective, giving up two home runs - both to Josh Donaldson - and allowing seven baserunners overall before leaving after just three innings. This is the third straight disappointing start from the big man, as well as his third this season against the Jays. Facing a right-handed-heavy lineup seemed to undo CC almost immediately, as he gave up a leadoff double to Jose Bautista and Donaldson’s first home run of the night before many in the crowd had found their seats.
Due to Sabathia’s poor start, the bullpen was once again pressed into service earlier than any of us would like. And once again, the relief corps were the stars of the game. Bryan Mitchell, called up just today, worked four scoreless innings, and although he couldn’t record a strikeout – the Yankee staff had just three all night – he did induce ten ground ball outs, keeping dangerous fly ball hitters in the yard. Indeed, the biggest chance the Jays had to pad their leads came from two errors Mitchell himself committed on ground balls back to the mound. David Robertson worked a scoreless eighth to seal the moral victory for the bullpen.
Offensively, there wasn’t much to talk about. It looked early like the Yankees would come out big early, putting men on in both the first and second inning, and getting on the board with a Garrett Cooper RBI single in the second to cut the Jays’ lead in half. That was about it until the eighth, when the Yankees loaded the bases with help from Ryan Tepera hitting two batters.
Unfortunately, there would be no dramatic bases-clearing triple tonight. Cooper drove in his second run of the night with a sac fly, but that was all the Yankees could muster. If it counts for anything, the Yankees DID manage to avoid striking out against closer extraordinaire Roberto Osuna, but still went down in order, lineout/popout/popout, to finish the game.
The silver lining to tonight’s game is that it was the only one of the series where the Yankees may not have had the advantage in starting pitching. The Jays placed tomorrow’s starter Cesar Valdez on the 10-day DL, and have yet to announce their replacement. Knowing the trouble the Jays have had with starter depth this season, the Yankees should have a good chance at evening the series in Game Two.
You can catch that game tomorrow at 7:07pm EDT.
The big news after the game was word that CC Sabathia was headed back to New York after hurting his knee in the third inning. The Yankee lefty said that the knee hasn’t felt this bad since the implementation of his magic knee brace that has allowed him to pitch through a degenerative knee condition. This likely means that Jordan Montgomery will be rejoining the rotation for the foreseeable future.