The Yankees kicked off the first game of a home doubleheader in listless fashion with a complete dud of an opener. Blue Jays rookie Alek Manoah outdueled Domingo Germán as the Yankees fell, 2-0, with the only New York offense coming off the bat of Miguel Andújar.
The 11th overall pick in the 2019 draft and Toronto’s No. 5 prospect according to MLB.com, Manoah made his MLB debut this afternoon, and if his first start was indicative of what’s to come, he will be a thorn in the Yankees’ side for quite some time. After walking DJ LeMahieu on four pitches to start the game, Manoah absolutely shut down the Yankees’ lineup, allowing only two hits — both soft-contact singles by Andújar (exit velocities of 71.8 and 75.3 mph) — striking out seven and not walking another batter until he issued a free pass to Rougned Odor with one out in the sixth inning.
Manoah had all his pitches working, with a fastball that averaged over 95 mph, a spin rate more than 150 rpm above league average, and breaking pitches (most notably the slider) that he was able to throw for strikes while also inducing soft contact and generating swings-and-misses. Despite having only 35 professional innings under his belt, he made the Yankees look like ... well, how Aaron Judge did in the first inning:
Germán, for his part, was no slouch either. In 5.2 innings, he gave up only three hits, striking out five and walking a pair of batter. Unfortunately for him, however, two of those hits were absolute bombs from Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette with two outs in the third inning, courtesy of pitches left right in the middle of the zone.
Note: The two magenta dots in the middle of the zone are the home runs, a fastball and a changeup
Besides these two swings, however, the Blue Jays could not get anything consistent going until the top of the sixth inning. Following strikes to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernández to open the inning, Randal Grichuk chased Germán with a single to right field on a soft ground ball against the shift. Lucas Luetge immediately gave up a first-pitch single to Rowdy Tellez to put runners on the corners, but was able to escape damage by fanning Lourdes Gurriel Jr. after a hard-fought, ten-pitch at-bat.
Luetge went on to pitch an uneventful seventh for the Yankees, while Jordan Romano did the same for the Blue Jays to record his second save of the year. (Yes, we’re still under 2020 doubleheader rules, so both games today are just seven innings long.)
Manoah (1-0) recorded his first career win, while Germán (4-3) was tagged with the loss. The Yankees now fall to 28-21 and face a sweep by the Blue Jays — particularly embarrassing since New York entered on a six-game winning streak and Toronto had dropped six in a row. They’ll be back in action at 7:05pm, with Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 4.07 ERA, 3.41 FIP) facing off against Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.42 ERA, 4.87 FIP).