Before the game, I thought that the Yankees needed a laugher. After a stressful and disappointing West Could trip, they could use a blowout. A double digit win or something to inspire confidence in the clubhouse and with the fans, you know? That’s exactly what they got, as the Bombers took game one against the Blue Jays by a score of 11-0.
The Yankees wasted little time on Friday night, jumping out to a five-run lead in the first inning. It started when Andrew McCutchen opened the game with a leadoff double. That proved a sign of things to come for Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada, as he then issued a walk to Giancarlo Stanton before surrendering an RBI single to Aaron Hicks. The Yankees were on the board just like that.
The offense, however, didn’t ease off the accelerator. Didi Gregorius chipped in with an RBI groundout, while Gleyber Torres singled in another run. That brought Luke Voit to the plate with two runners on and two outs. He launched an RBI double to center field, giving the Yankees a 5-0 advantage. Estrada was teetering, and the lineup made him pay.
The Bombers drove Estrada from the game with two outs in the third inning. Brett Gardner’s two-out, RBI single ended the right-hander’s night. A different pitcher, Taylor Guerrieri, took over, but the results stayed the same. Stanton lined a two-run single to right field, extending New York’s lead to eight runs.
In a surprising turn of events, the Yankees went quietly in the fourth inning. They loaded the bases with two outs, but Gardner struck out to end the threat. No need to worry though, because McCutchen tacked on in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to right-center field.
Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka continued his successful second half with six shutout innings. He only found himself in trouble on a couple of occasions. Tanaka allowed two runners to reach base with one out in the fifth inning, but struck out Billy McKinney and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to get things back in order. His splitter looked especially filthy.
Friday night’s outing lowered Tanaka’s season line to a 3.47 ERA with a 3.93 FIP. He’s been incredible for nearly three months now. When the Wild Card Game rolls around, there’s only one man I want on the mound, and that’s Tanaka. He’s just the best!
As for the rest of the game, there are a few leftovers to point out. Gregorius made it a 10-0 game in the bottom of the eighth by hitting a solo homer of David Paulino. The 11th run came when Gardner grounded into a double play, scoring Kyle Higashioka from third base. Luis Cessa gave the rest of the bullpen a night off, tossing three scoreless innings. Oh, and the Yankees called on a defensive replacement in the eighth inning to play right field — some guy named Aaron Judge. He must be a September call-up.
Game two takes place tomorrow afternoon. It will be CC Sabathia against Sean Reid-Foley, with first pitch at 4:05 PM. If you’re in the area and want to go, StubHub still has tickets. You can purchase them by clicking here.