The Yankees held leads in each of their first two games this season, going briefly ahead on Opening Day before losing in extras and winning yesterday’s clash for most of the afternoon. They were within striking distance all day on Sunday, and yet it never really felt like they stood a chance of getting an advantage. The Blue Jays scored first, and they never looked back as the Yankees fell 3-1 in the rubber match of their first series of the season.
Domingo Germán got the start, but he wouldn’t stay on the mound for very long. The 28-year-old right-hander worked just three innings, and had one brutal frame. The second inning would be the one to sink Germán’s afternoon, and it began with a leadoff home run to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed up with a single, and Randal Grichuk delivered the game-winning runs via another home run, this one a two-run shot.
The Yankees could’ve been in a terrible spot for their bullpen by the time Germán was lifted to start the fourth, but Michael King gave them a lone bright spot from this game. King put the bullpen on his back, tossing six innings of one-hit ball in relief to save Aaron Boone from having to run out most of his relievers. The Yankees did just have a day off on Friday, but since Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber couldn’t go deep in their own outings earlier in the week, the ‘pen was in jeopardy of getting gassed right out of the gate.
Instead, King carved through the Blue Jays lineup. He didn’t have particularly dominating stuff — he only picked up two strikeouts — but his two-seam fastball kept a dangerous lineup off-balance and constantly forced weak contact. The only time King ever got in trouble was in the fourth, when the first two batters reached base and a catcher’s interference call would load the bases. Unfazed, King got the final out of the frame to escape the jam and then recorded five 1-2-3 innings in a row to cruise to the end.
Unfortunately, the offense never took advantage of King’s stellar relief appearance keeping them in the game. The lineup sleepwalked through the day, only managing to score a single run in the fifth when Clint Frazier led off with a double and a Gio Urshela fly ball followed by a Brett Gardner grounder scored him.
Gary Sánchez couldn’t extend his home run streak to three games, and no one else picked up the slack behind him. No Yankee recorded more than a single hit, and the final nine at-bats were particularly weak — they all went down in order. It wasn’t a great weekend in general for the Yankee offense, missing plenty of opportunities to score runs, but today they couldn’t even get into scoring position consistently enough to threaten the lead.
After a dud of an opening weekend, the Yankees will have three more games to conclude their first homestand on a better note. The Baltimore Orioles will come into town after sweeping the Boston Red Sox in their own series. Jordan Montgomery will get the ball for that outing, and we’ll have plenty on that matchup for you tomorrow.