Blue Jays face daunting test at Yankee Stadium

By: Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

A four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

It is a chilling phrase for the Toronto Blue Jays fans. While the franchise came of age with a four-game series in 1985, the Bronx has been the scene of lengthy stays and painful losses.

Of the 18 four-game series since 1985, the New York Yankees have won three of four seven times twice and three times they swept the four-game series.

The Jays won three of four twice and have one sweep.

The rest were split giving the Yankees a 41-23 advantage ... or 40-20 since 1986. 

As Derek Jeter used to say “the ghosts come out late at night, late in the season,” at Yankee Stadium.

Take a look at some of the former players who have delivered walk-off game winners for the Yankees: Felix Escalona, Jayson Nix, Wayne Tolleson, Dan Pasqua, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Tino Martinez and Jeter himself. 

They have beaten Casey Janssen and Marty Janzen, 

Jose Bautista has homered in the four-gamers and Miguel Batista has lost.

Carlos Tosca was fired by president Paul Godfrey and GM J.P. Ricciardi fired after Game 3 of a four-game in 2004 as Jon Lieber beat the Jays 8-2. John Gibbons won his first game the next night with Josh Towers collecting the victory. 

Roy Halladay, Kevlvim Escobar, Cory Lidle and Doug Davis registered wins in the four-game sweep in 2003.

Jimmy Key, Al Leiter, David Wells, Esteban Loaiza and A.J. Burnett pitched for both teams.   

The most memorable four-game trip was in 1985. The Jays had the opener in Dave Stieb’s back pocket ... up in the seventh when a ground ball went to Tony Fernandez. Fernandez and Damo Garcia combined to miss an inning-ending double-play ball in the as the Yanks scored six times. 

It could have been a devastating defeat as the Jays lead in the American League East fell to 1 1/2 games.

Al Oliver singled in the lead run in a 3-2 win the next night, then Key beat the Yanks 7-4 and Doyle Alexander outpicthed Ed Whitson 8-5 on Sunday as the Jays headed for La Guardia with a 4 1/2 game lead. 

The Jays went on to win 99 games clinching their first title in Game 161 at Exhibition Stadium.

Two year ago Hiroki Kuroda beat Mark Buehrle, David Phelps got the win over Brad Lincoln 6-4, CC Sabathia edged Esmil Rogers 5-4 and Boone Logan had the win over R.A. Dickey 3-2 in a four-game sweep.

A breakdown:

September, 2014 _ Yanks win three.

The Yankees took the walk-off win on Adam Lind’s fielding error, Hiroki Kuroda beat Mark Buehrle 5-3, Marcus Stroman beat Chris Capauno 6-3 and Masahiro Tanaka beat Drew Hutchison.

April, 2013 _ Yankee sweep.

Kuroda beat Buehrle 5-3, David Phelps bests Brad Lincoln 6-4, CC Sabathia edged Esmil Rogers 5-4 and Boone Logan edged R.A. Dickey 3-2.

August, 2013 _ Yankee sweep.

Ivan Nova beats Neil Wagner 8-4 in the first game of a doubleheader and Jayson Nix hits a walk-off single against Darren Oliver for a 3-2 win in the nitecap, David Huff got the win in a 4-2 decision over Dickey and Andy Pettitte beat J.A. Happ.

July, 2009 _ Yankees win three.

A.J. Burnett registered the win over his ex teammates and Brian Tallet 4-2 in the opener, Jorge Posada hit a walk-off single against Shawn Camp in the 12th, Jonathan Albaladejo got the win as the Yankees beat B.J. Ryan 10-8 and Ricky Romero salvaged the finale beating Pettitte 7-6.

July, 2007 _ Yankees win three.

Scott Proctor took the win over Josh Towers 6-4, Robinson Cano hit a walk-off single against Casey Janssen, Mike Myers beat Shaun Marcum 6-1 and Dustin McGowan salvaged the finale with a 3-2 win over Chein-Ming Wang.

August, 2005 _ Yankees win three.

Jaret Wright was part of a 7-0 shutout in the opener, the legendary Felix Escalona hit a walk-off single against Miguel Batista as the Yanks scored two in the ninth, David Bush beat Mike Mussina 9-5 and Yankees Shawn Chacon beat Gustavo Chacin 6-2 in the finale.

August, 2004 _ Yankees win three.

Javier Vazquez had the win in the opener, Orlando Hernandez blanked the Jays and Ted Lilly 6-0, Jon Lieber beat Batista 8-2 and after the game president Paul Godfrey and GM J.P. Ricciardi fired Carlos Tosca. Josh Towers pitched a 5-4 win over Esteban Loaiza in John Gibbons debut as a manager.

April, 2003 _ Yankees win three.

Jose Contreras won over Aquilino Lopez in the opener, Mussina shut out Roy Halladay, Cody Lidle beat Sterling Hitchcock 7-6 and Jeff Weaver 4-0 over Pete Walker, the Jays current pitching coach.

May, 2003 _ Jays sweep.

Halladay beat Pettitte 8-3 as Carlos Delgado homered twice and Shannon Stewart went deep once, Kevlvim Escobar won 6-2 over Mussina, Frank Catalanotto and Delgado had a pair of doubles each as Cory Lidle beat David Wells 5-2 and Doug Davis beat Jeff Weaver 5-3.

July, 2001 _ The teams split.

Esteban Loaiza won the opener 10-4 and Paul Quantrill got the win as Delgado, Brad Fullmer, Chris Latham singled off Mariano Rivera in the ninth for a 5-3 win, Mussina beat Chris Carpenter and the Yanks gained the split as Roger Clemens beat Steve Parris.

September, 1998 _ Jays won three.

Pettitte bested Pat Hentgen, then Carlos Almanzar edged Hidecki Irabu 5-4, Carpenter beat Wells 5-3 and Escobar knocked off David Cone 5-3.

September, 1997 _ Yankees win three.

Omar Daal and four relievers blanked the Yanks 3-0, but Derek Jeter had a walk-off hit in the 11th against Marty Jansen, Tino Martinez a walk-off homer against Almanzar in the 10th and Wells beat Hentgen 8-1.

September, 1995 _ Yankees sweep.

Cone beat Danny Cox 9-2, Pettitte outpitched Juan Guzman 5-3, Hitchcock edged Hentgen 2-1 and Steve Howe had a 6-4 win over Paul Menhart.

August, 1993, _ A split.

Todd Stottlemyre and the bullpen had a 4-0 win, Hentgen beat Bobby Munoz 8-6, Scott Kamieniecki knocked off Dave Stewart 6-2 and ex-Jay Jimmy Key beat ex-Yankee Al Leiter 5-4.

August, 1991 _ A split.

David Wells beat Jeff Johnson 6-2, Scott Sanderson bested Stottlemyre 9-2, Key and Duane Ward had a 5-0 win and Lee Guetterman picked up a 4-2 win over Bob Macdonald.

July, 1989 _ A split.

John Cerutti knocked off Dave LaPoint 6-2, Chuck Cary got the 7-2 win over Key, Wayne Tolleson had a walk-off single against Ward in a 7-6 win and David Wells edged Andy Hawkins 6-5.

September, 1987 _ A split.

Dan Pasqua had a walk-off single against Tom Henke for a 6-5 win, Jim Clancy beat Neil Allen 6-3, Bill Gullickson beat Mike Flanagan 4-2 and then Wells knocked off Leiter 6-2.

September, 1985 _ Jays win three.

Tony Fernandez and Damo Garcia combined to miss an inning-ending double-play ball in the seventh as the Yanks scored six times. Al Oliver singled in the lead run in a 3-2 win, Key beat the Yanks 7-4 and Doyle Alexander outpiched Ed Whitson 8-5.