Series Sum-Up: Blue Jays vs. Yankees
By: Emily (@JaysGirlEmily)
Canadian Baseball Network
Game 1: Tuesday, April 12
Blue Jays lose 2-3
Starting pitcher: Aaron Sanchez
Losing Pitcher: Brett Cecil
Well... This game was kind of unpleasant. The Yankees took the lead first, but the Blue Jays got two quick runs in the third, on a 2-RBI double from Jose Bautista. He cashed in Kevin Pillar (who had been hit by a pitch) and Josh Donaldson (who had singled). Brian McCann scored two of the three runs for the Yankees, including a solo home run that tied the game.
Ryan Goins made a few nice defensive plays, but that was about the only bright spot for the Blue Jays, who reported being annoyed by an inconsistent strike zone. Sanchez also attempted an ill-advised pickoff on McCann in the second that sailed over second base and allowed him to advance to third.
Game 2: Wednesday, April 13
BLUE JAYS WIN! 7-2
Winning Pitcher: J.A. Happ
In the first game this season in which they put up double-digit hits, the Jays were already leading 3-2 entering the 8th and then they tacked on a bunch of runs to widen the lead and make the fans feel better. Every run was scored by a different member of the lineup - Edwin Encarnacion and Pillar were the odd men out. Surprisingly enough, not one run was scored via the homer.
Happ went six innings and allowed only one run on seven hits, owing in part to some nice double plays turned behind him. Brett Cecil and fresh-from-Buffalo Pat Venditte each pitched clean innings, which must have been a boost to Cecil's ego after the tough time he'd had in his last three outings. Drew Storen gave up a solo home run to Mark Teixiera in the 8th, but that was the only damage sustained by the bullpen.
Game 3: Thursday, April 14
BLUE JAYS WIN! 4-2
Winning Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Save: Roberto Osuna
The last game must have been a big wake-up call for the bats, because there were only two innings in which they didn't get at least one hit. All the Blue Jays' runs came on homers - a long three-run Josh Donaldson shot in the fifth, and a solo homer by Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth.
Tulo was also kept busy on the defense side of things, as Stroman lasted eight innings, and only allowed three hits, two runs, and induced an impressive 16 groundouts (seven of them in Tulo's direction). The only real struggles came in the fourth as the Yankees scored two runs when Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, followed by two singles (one of which seemed like an error at the time), a fielder's choice, and a wild pitch.
Jose Bautista maintained an impressive .500 OBP with two walks, and Kevin Pillar and Michael Saunders had a double and a single each.
With Tuesday's loss, the Jays are now 0-3 in one-run games this year. If you recall, this is something that plagued them last year as well. They also haven't scored later than the fourth in any of their losses, and later than the third in three of the five. This is the part of the program where I say 'What the heck is up with this, Best Offense in Baseball?'
Also, losses are slightly more tolerable when Dan Shulman is announcing them! But only slightly. The wins, on the other hand, are made just that much sweeter!
Weirdly specific record alert:
With his home run on Thursday, Josh Donaldson extended a hitting streak to 10 games, which makes him one of four Blue Jays to ever open a season with a streak of 10+ games.
My favourite player(s) of the series: Goins/Stroman
The number 9 hitter went 3-for-4 on Wednesday with two doubles,two RBI, and a run scored. After that game, his AVG was lifted to .321, tied for highest on the team with some guy named Jose Bautista. Also this:
Which maybe is more of a poor reflection on those guys than it is a good reflection on him, but still! Take all the bragging rights you can get, Goins!
The StroShow has got to be the best show in town. As mentioned above, Stroman pitched an 8-inning gem on Thursday, the entirety of which lasted just 2 hours and 22 minutes (wouldn't Papa Mark Buehrle be proud!). He threw just nine pitches in the first inning, five in the 7th, and seven in the 8th. Wow.
He retired 11 in a row through the fifth-nineth. Looks like his '9 every 5' mentality over the offseason is really paying off, and it looked like he didn't even want to be done after the eighth, but Gibbons insisted.
Where we are now: 5-5
The bad news is... Not plentiful, other than the whole losing-when-they-can't-score-late thing.
The good news is, there isn't an off day Friday, so hopefully the bats will stay hot for a 4-game series in Boston! Pitching is also looking good, so just like our friend Marco Estrada here, there's lots to be excited about!