Where you’re in a rut like the Yankees currently are, one thing you really can’t afford to do is be sloppy. They’ve been struggling enough; giving opposing teams free opportunities is not great. Yet, they did quite a lot of that as they lost a fifth consecutive game on Wednesday.
Starting pitcher Luis Gil returned from the minors, but he did not look great, walking seven batters while recording just 10 outs. As soon as he left, Toronto scored a run on a wild pitch. There were a couple of defensive miscues that came back to haunt the Yankees from players you wouldn’t normally expect. All of that mixed in with the increasingly-normal offensive malaise led to another loss as the Yankees fell 6-3 to the Blue Jays.
From the first inning on, it looked clear that Gil wasn’t exactly at his sharpest, but it didn’t truly come back to haunt the Yankees until the fourth inning. After getting the first out of the inning, he walked the bases loaded with his fifth, sixth, and seventh free passes of the game. That would be it for him, as Lucas Luetge was brought in. It took just one pitch after he left for Gil’s scoreless streak to end at 18.2 innings, as a wild pitch plated a run. Two batters later, Marcus Semien singled home another two runners. Gil’s final line ended at 3.1 innings, allowing just one hit, but seven walks and three runs.
The Yankees’ extra-base-hit-less streak continued well into the game, but it finally ended in a big way. A Joey Gallo single and a Rougned Odor walk alternated with two outs, leaving the inning up to Brett Gardner. The veteran came through in a big way, homering to right to tie things up.
After Luetge was unable to escape the jam that Gil left, the Yankees extracted a few solid innings out of the bullpen. Luetge himself gave the Yankees a better inning in the fifth, and Joely Rodríguez threw a scoreless sixth. Clay Holmes came in for the seventh, and induced a grounder to Andrew Velazquez to the first batter he faced. It would’ve been a very tough play to pull off and Velazquez probably should not have fired off the throw.
However, Velazquez did just that, and the throw got past Anthony Rizzo at first, allowing the runner, Semien, to advance to second. Holmes bounced back with a strikeout and a groundout, with the latter moving Semien to third. Velazquez’s mistake would become a costly one as Teoscar Hernández singled, giving the Jays the lead again. They would not relinquish the advantage.
The Yankees had a chance to answer back in the seventh, but missed out just before the Blue Jays added to their lead. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the inning with a triple after Aaron Judge misplayed a ball off the wall in right. A sac fly in the immediate next at-bat plated him despite a decent throw from Judge.
The Yankees didn’t seriously threaten in the last couple innings, and in fact fell even further behind. Aroldis Chapman was brought in for the ninth, but didn’t get through it and allowed a missile home run to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Thanks to results elsewhere, the Yankees have fallen out out of the first Wild Card spot, as Boston now leads them by half a game. Thanks to this result, they’re also now just 1.5 games ahead of this Blue Jays team. Not great!
The Yankees will desperately hope to avoid a four-game home sweep at the hands of Toronto tomorrow night. Néstor Cortes Jr. will toe the rubber against José Berríos at 7:05pm ET.