Go home baseball. You’re drunk.
This was a wild one at Rogers Centre. By the time this game was through the fourth inning, we had already seen the Blue Jays bench yelling at Yankees coach Luis Rojas, New York skipper Aaron Boone yelling to the umpires about the Jays’ own third-base coach, and Jays manager John Schneider seemingly calling someone on the Yankees “fat boy.”
Domingo Germán, perfect through three, got tossed on his way to the mound for having something on his hands. Ian Hamilton, brought in to replace him, left with a groin injury after throwing 27 pitches. And none of that—none of it—is the most surprising thing to happen in this one.
It started off quietly — no, seriously. Jays starter Kevin Gausman had his good fastball/splitter combination going in the opening frames. The Yankees got to him in the third though. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off with a free pass, the second Gausman had issued. That’s notable, considering the Jays hurler entered the contest having only walked seven batters in 48 innings.
Jose Trevino followed by crushing a ball to left field. Toronto left fielder Daulton Varsho played it perfectly off the wall and got it quickly in to second, holding the Yankee catcher to a single. Torres kept the line moving. After working the count full against Gausman, he lined a fastball up the middle, scoring the first run of the game and extending his on-base streak to 12 games.
Speaking of continuing streaks, the Jays held form and were petty whiners. The Toronto dugout yelled at Rojas for not being in the third-base coach’s box, and then the skipper Schneider yelled “shut up, fat boy” at an undetermined Yankee. Amid all the drama, the Yankees managed a second run. With runners on second and third, Bader grounded out to short, scoring Trevino. Torres got greedy and tried to advance. It was to no avail, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. threw him out at third.
During all this, Germán looked really good, helped out by the nightly web gem from Harrison Bader in center field. George Springer lined one into center leading off. Bader, playing deep, ate up ground coming in, and then dove to record the first out of a clean stanza.
Germán continued his yeoman’s work in the second, and in the third, he rolled over the Jays on just six pitches. But that is where his night ended. On his way out for the fourth inning, the umpires checked Germán’s hands. Finding something, they tossed him. Apparently, he hasn’t learned to wash his hands.
So now, New York not only had to find 18 outs from the bullpen, but Germán is facing a 10-game suspension, something the club can ill-afford for one of its only consistent starting pitchers. And the turd atop the pile: The Yankees will not be able to make a roster move to replace him. You hate to see it.
Hamilton came into the game to face the top of the Jays order and ultimately loaded the bases with two outs. Boone and the trainer came out to check on Hamilton after ball four to Chapman put three runners on. The Yankees announced in the fifth that Hamilton left with right groin tightness; sighs of relief all around that it had nothing to do with his arm.
Ron Marinaccio came in to get the final out of the frame. Meanwhile, Boone decided now was the time to pay back the petty idiocy about third base coaches and yelled at home-plate umpire James Hoye until the Toronto coach adjusted his position. Marinaccio nailed down the final out and finally, mercifully, the fourth frame was finished.
I don’t know how to lead into this so … I give you the IKF oppo taco in the fifth.
You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn. The renowned Gausman killer had his second career dinger off the hurler, and the Yankee had a 3-0 lead.
After a Trevino single off the glove of Bichette, Torres ripped a ball to left to move him to third. Alas, the second baseman made his second TOOTBLAN off the night, as he was gunned down at second by Varsho in left field. Judge whiffed to end the frame, but New York had a little more breathing room on a night when the bullpen still needed to get 15 more outs.
Marinaccio managed to get two of those outs before falling to pieces. A solo shot from Kevin Kiermaier and then three consecutive base hits tied the game up at 3-3. To try to escape the fifth, Boone turned to the man in the bullpen who sits at the bottom of the depth chart: Ryan Weber. The veteran journeyman did so with no further drama or insanity. Crucially, he kept it up through the sixth and seventh innings, even against the heart of the Jays’ lineup. By doing so, he earned himself a much-deserved win—his first since September 10, 2020—and gave the club length that it desperately needed after Germán’s ejection and the injury to Hamilton.
By holding serve, Weber gave the bats the chance to retake the lead. And after another knock by Trevino leading off the eighth, the reigning MVP and American League home run king launched another monstrosity deeeeeep into the Canadian night:
At 113 mph off the bat and 448 feet according to Statcast, it was a true Judgian blast. It turns out that throwing hanging sliders middle-middle isn’t a sustainable recipe for success against the Captain.
As an added bonus, Judge even broke the maple leaf on the WestJet logo in dead center:
Aaron Judge has just declared war on Canada. pic.twitter.com/6Srkm1cYMj— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) May 17, 2023
Clay Holmes was the fifth Yankee pitcher of the evening, in to face the middle of the Jays order in the eighth. Matt Chapman singled and then, with one out, Torres made one of the most boneheaded defensive plays I think I have ever seen. (No. I’m not linking the video. Take the sure out at first next time.) Holmes bailed him out, freezing pinch-hitter Brandon Belt, but still.
IKF was determined to do his part in winning this one. After already going yard, the slugger led off the ninth with a double down the left-field line. His second extra base hit of the night, after recording two of them in his previous 30 games.
After Aaron Hicks, who entered the game as a pinch-runner for Trevino, flew out to right field, IKF scampered to third, forcing the Jays to bring the infield in with one out. Torres lofted a fly ball into foul territory in right. Nathan Lukes, fresh into the game, caught the ball. I might have let that drop, though in real time perhaps Lukes thought it would land fair. Regardless, IKF scored easily on the sac fly, giving the Yankees a three-run cushion.
Wandy Peralta came on for the save, the sixth Yankee hurler of the night. The Jays put two runners on, one thanks to an error by Volpe at an inopportune time. But Peralta induced a groundball from Santiago Espinal, in the game replacing Vladdy, who left looking a bit hobbled after fielding a bunt attempt from Torres earlier. The final was 6-3, New York.
What a game. You can watch baseball for decades and still see things you’ve never seen. Things you never even thought to consider. I’d say tomorrow night cannot possibly be so weird, but ... join us as Gerrit Cole gets the ball trying to make it three straight versus Toronto, facing Chris Bassitt. First pitch will be at 7:07pm ET with Amazon Prime Video on the broadcast.