The second-to-last home game for the Yankees ended in a 7-2 victory. James Paxton was once again brilliant, and the Yankees offense ran over Toronto’s pitching on their way to their 101st win of the year. Let’s break it down.
The earliest action of the game wasn’t on-field, but an ejection. Aaron Boone was ejected from the game by third base umpire Joe West between the first and second innings. Boone was presumably arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire after Giancarlo Stanton went down on strikes during this at-bat:
Those three pitches were all borderline at best, per the MLB Gameday app. Boone definitely had a case against there, but the question remains: why would Joe West throw him out? The Yankees’ dugout is on the first base side of the field -- not so sure West was in position to make that call. Alas.
Following the Boone ejection, home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak tossed Marcus Thames for continuing the disagreement. After both ejections, the on-field action became the focal point of the game.
After two perfect innings to open up the game by Paxton, the Blue Jays got some runners on in the third. Didi Gregorius booted a ball to lead off the inning and an infield single put runners on first and second. Paxton got the first out of the inning on a strikeout but gave up a single to Jonathan Davis, allowing the unearned run to score from second.
Blue Jays starter T.J. Zeuch really kept the Yankee hitters in check the first time through the order. In the first three innings, the Yankees only mustered one hit and struck out five times. Things started changing in their favor in the fourth inning.
Aaron Judge led off the inning with a 114 mph double into left center, and he came around to score on a Giancarlo Stanton double. Zeuch was able to retire Gio Urshela for the second out of the inning, but Mike Ford got the offense going again with a bloop single that scored Stanton.
The Yankees’ offense woke back up in the sixth inning when Stanton absolutely blasted a ball into the left field bleachers. It went 420 feet and was 111 mph off the bat. Here’s a look:
.@Giancarlo818 is back to hitting BOMBS. pic.twitter.com/Bq3y1h7R92— MLB (@MLB) September 21, 2019
Following Stanton’s bomb, Ford and Clint Frazier added back-to-back doubles, which brought another run in and put the game at 4-1 in the Yankees’ favor. Tyler Wade added a single into left that moved Frazier up to third and allowed Wade to move up to second on the throw. The next batter, Kyle Higashiokia ended a nine-pitch at-bat with a single into right field and brought Frazier and Wade into score, giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.
After six full innings and a five-run lead, the Yankees felt comfortable going to the bullpen, ending James Paxton’s brilliant day. In six innings, he allowed just the one run and three hits, while striking out seven without issuing a walk. Without a doubt, Paxton is going to be a very important piece in the Yankees’ playoff plans.
Jonathan Loaisiga was the first arm out of the bullpen and quickly allowed one run on a pair of hits in the seventh, but he did also get all three outs on three strikeouts. He came back out for the eighth, and it was much of the same -- two strikeouts and one hit.
Loaisiga was throwing smoke too. His average fastball velocity was 99 mph, up almost 3 mph from his season average. He topped out a 100.2 mph today, which according to Katie Sharp is a career-high.
After securing such a big lead in the sixth, the Yankees offense wasn’t up to much in the last third of the game, but they added one run in the bottom of the seventh. Cameron Maybin pinch-hit for Stanton, walked, then moved up to second on a fielder’s choice. Mike Ford brought him in to score on a single, good for Ford’s third hit of the day.
After Loaisiga’s two innings, Chad Green came on in the ninth to close out the game. He needed 15 pitches to record three straight strikeouts. With today’s win, the Yankees avenged their Friday night loss and ended Toronto’s six-game winning streak. The Yankees and Blue Jays finish up their final series of the year tomorrow afternoon.