On Zombie Night in Toronto, the Yankees and Blue Jays refused to stay dead, with both teams mounting rallies over the course of The Long Night in the land up north beyond the
The Blue Jays got on the board first, with a Randal Grichuk solo home run in the second inning. A rally in the fourth—one that included a rare error by DJ LeMahieu at first base—gave the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead. In the top of the fifth, however, the Yankees called Anthony Kay “Barbara” and came for him, rallying to score five runs on five hits, capped off by a two-run single by Gio Urshela that gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
The Yankees’ pitching staff, however, could not hold the lead, as Cavan Biggio drove in Bo Bichette in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Yankees’ lead to one. Two innings later, Adam Ottavino balked in Richard Urena to tie it.
With the Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton already used and Aroldis Chapman being held in reserve, the Yankees tapped into the Mystery Box portion of their bullpen, looking for two scoreless innings apiece from Luis Cessa and Tyler Lyons. Unfortunately for the Bombers, they were left feeling stupid as they messed with the wrong hitters. Bichette sent the Toronto fanbase home dancing the Necronomicon in celebration.
Masahiro Tanaka continued his recent struggles, giving up four runs on eight hits in five innings, including the second-inning home run to Grichuk. Although his defense did him no favors—the Yankees defense seemed half-dead all night—Tanaka did not have his best stuff and gave up way too many hard-hit balls. The Yankees need their two-time All-Star to get back on track in the final two weeks of the season.
Ultimately, while this loss does not mean much for the Yankees, who still sit 9.5 games in front of the Rays and lead the Astros and Dodgers by one game in the race for home-field advantage, the way the Yankees played was disconcerting. Despite a couple of great defensive plays, the defense was worse than lackluster for most of the night. LeMahieu, in particular, has struggled to receive throws on groundballs at first base lately. In addition, Austin Romine struggled behind the plate, with two wild pitches that would have gotten the media talking had his name been “Gary Sanchez.”
On the offensive side of the ball, a caught stealing by Cameron Maybin helped stop a potential rally in its tracks. Aside from the fifth inning, the team just looked about as lifeless as the fans who attended the game dressed up as zombies.
But hey, tomorrow’s a new day. The Yankees get back to action at 3:07 PM EDT, as James Paxton looks to get the Yankees back on track.