Raise your hand if you knew who Alejandro Kirk was this morning.
Good, now we know how many liars read PSA. Kirk, 21, had the kind of game kids dream about, notching his first four-hit game and the most annoying home run I’ve seen in some time to lead the Blue Jays over the Yankees, 11-5.
Michael King, who was asked to play the role of opener/piggybacker tonight, is certainly not an MLB starter, and really looks like a two-inning-at-best pitcher. He struck out five of the first six men he faced, and the only blemish was an easy fly ball that Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge lost in the lights – or lack thereof. Then the third inning rolled around.
A groundball single and walk put two Blue Jays on, and King looked like he was going to bear down by catching Bo Bichette with a beautiful two-strike fastball…that wasn’t called a strike:
Bichette hit a run scoring single, and that was the last ball of the inning to get off the ground. Toronto hit two more groundball singles, and Vlad Guerrero Jr. added one of his now-trademark groundball doubles, and the Blue Jays had five runs. Jonathan Loáisiga replaced King ahead of facing Vlad, but all five runs counted against the team’s opener.
Loáisiga was even worse in his effort, giving up the double to score inherited runners, then four hits and two walks in the fourth inning. The best way to describe how ineffective Loáisigia was is just to show you his 11 pitches in the third:
Barely one pitch in the strike zone.
As bad as the pitching was - hey, Chad Green was okay and Adam Ottavino was good - you’re not gonna win many games with the kind of anemic offense we saw from the Yankees tonight. The Yankees Bombers in the second when Gio Urshela singled following two walks, and Urshela brought home another one on a groundout in the seventh.
That was pretty much it, and that’s just not acceptable when the team has a fully stacked lineup. The only guy that wasn’t playing tonight that you can expect to see real playoff starts was Clint Frazier. The top four of the lineup - DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit - is as good a top four as you will ever see in baseball. They combined to go 4-for-13, with only one of those hits good for extra bases. The team combined for 21 (!) ground balls out of 32 balls in play.
Mike Tauchman ended up driving in three runs in the top of the ninth, but even that felt like work as Wilmer Font walked two men before him. In a way, this game was similar to the 10-7 drubbing the Yankees gave the Jays last week, as the score is closer than the game really was.
Gerrit Cole goes tomorrow, looking to end this two-game funk.