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Yankees 2, Blue Jays 6: Sonny Gray’s implosion continues

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[Endless screaming]

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have a Sonny Gray problem. There’s no other way to put it. His presence in the rotation actively harms the team during a tight division race. Tonight was just the latest in a string of disaster starts by the right-hander, as the Bombers fell to the Blue Jays by the score of 6 - 2.

Gray’s night started off perfectly fine. He recorded two quick outs in the first inning before the wheels started to come off. Just like his previous outing against Boston, he walked the next two batters. Gray soon found himself in a bases loaded jam, and we all had flashbacks to one of his trademark meltdowns. Instead, Russell Martin struck out to end the threat.

The second inning, however, proved disastrous. The Blue Jays peppered Gray with hits, five in total. Toronto hit a little bit of everything, a double, a few singles. The decisive blow came in the form of a Justin Smoak three-run home run. The end result? The Jays left the frame leading 5 - 0.

In total, Gray allowed five runs over just two innings pitched. He struck out four and walked two. That brought his season line to a 5.85 ERA with a 4.53 FIP. The Yankees can’t keep running him out there. Something has to give. I don’t know what that is, but there’s no way he can take the ball again in five days.

David Hale took over for Gray in the third inning. In a refreshing turn of events, he looked great! He soaked up a healthy number of innings, shielding the bullpen from what would have been a long night. Hale tossed 5.2 innings of one-run ball, looking very much like a legitimate big leaguer in the process.

Source: Baseball Savant

He pounded the bottom of the zone and kept hitters uncomfortable. What more could you ask for from a spare arm? It will be interesting to see if the Yankees DFA him in favor of a fresh reliever, or if he hangs around for a little while longer. I wouldn’t mind that, to be honest. Hale can stay.

The Yankees’ offense, meanwhile, just couldn’t cash in against the Jays. Their only runs came courtesy of the scorching hot Aaron Hicks, who hit a solo home run and drew a bases loaded walk. The rest of the lineup couldn’t seem to come through at all, and for a variety of different reasons.

Take Kevin Pillar for example. He robbed Greg Bird and Neil Walker with his magnetic glove. Pillar’s ability to haul in balls in center field is simultaneously mind-blowing and infuriating from a Yankees’ perspective.

On the other hand, with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning, Giancarlo Stanton struck out after getting ahead 3 - 0. He took two huge hacks before looking at a called strike three on the outside corner. Didi Gregorius followed by lining out to end the threat, sparing Gaviglio, Joe Biagini, and the rest of the Blue Jays. The Yankees had their chances against Tyler Clippard in the ninth, but they couldn’t cash in against him.

Game two of the series takes place tomorrow at 4:07 PM. It will be Luis Severino against J.A. Happ. The Yankees will get a firsthand look at one of their trade targets. Exciting!

Box Score