Series Sum-Up: Yankees vs. Blue Jays

 Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) had five RBI in two games in the Toronto Blue Jays' final home series of the season against the New York Yankees. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) had five RBI in two games in the Toronto Blue Jays' final home series of the season against the New York Yankees. Photo Credit: Jay Blue

By: Emily (@JaysGirlEmily)

Canadian Baseball Network

Game 1: Friday, September 22
JAYS WIN!! 8-1
Winning Pitcher: Marco Estrada

In his first start since signing a contract extension, Marco Estrada pitched a gem. A home run to Aaron Judge in the 1st was the only run he allowed. That deficit didn’t last a full inning, as the Jays tied it in the bottom half with a leadoff Teoscar Hernandez single, a fielding error on a force out, and then a Jose Bautista ground out which scored Hernandez.

In the top of the 3rd, things got interesting after Todd Frazier doubled to lead off. He was standing on second, with one out, when Jacoby Ellsbury lined out to right field. Bautista threw the ball to Ryan Goins at shortstop, and Goins pulled off the hidden ball trick, pretending to throw the ball back to the pitcher, then tagging Frazier when he shuffled his feet and came off the base. That double play ended the inning. Hernandez then gave Toronto the lead with a solo home run.

Russell Martin hit a two-run homer in the 4th, putting the Jays up 4-1. Estrada worked around a pair of walks in the 5th, then the Jays loaded the bases in the bottom of the 6th thanks to two walks and a single. Goins hit his second grand slam of the year to make it 8-1 Toronto. Estrada’s night was over after the 7th, having allowed one run on three hits and three walks. Matt Dermody, Tom Koehler, and Carlos Ramirez combined to finish it off. The entire game took just over two and a half hours.

Game 2: Saturday, September 23
Jays lose, 1-5
Losing Pitcher: Joe Biagini

The Jays got a single and a walk with one out against Sonny Gray in the 1st inning, but both were stranded. They turned a double play in support of Joe Biagini in the 2nd, and Teoscar Hernandez broke open the scoring with a solo home run in the 3rd. After a double and a walk in the top of the 4th, Didi Gregorius lined out to the second baseman and Aaron Judge was doubled off of second.

Biagini walked a pair in the 5th, and Greg Bird hit a three-run homer to put the Yankees ahead. After Biagini walked the next batter on four pitches, Brett Gardner lined into another double play. Danny Barnes pitched the 6th. The Jays got two walks in the bottom of the 6th, and Kevin Pillar hit a deep fly ball that would have gone for extra bases had Gardner not tracked it down.

Raffy Lopez caught a runner stealing in the 7th. In the 8th, Tim Mayza allowed a home run to Todd Frazier. The Yankees scored again when Gary Sanchez doubled leading off the 9th. He advanced on a force out, and scored on a Starlin Castro single. The Jays couldn’t even get a baserunner in the last three innings of the game. Biagini took the loss after a five-inning start in which he allowed three runs on three hits and four walks.

Game 3: Sunday, September 24
JAYS WIN!! 9-5
Winning Pitcher: Marcus Stroman

The Jays were in command from the beginning. Teoscar Hernandez led off the bottom of the 1st with a home run, his fifth of the year and his third in three games. Kevin Pillar led off the 2nd with a double, stole third, and then scored on a Darwin Barney sac fly. Barney then started off a double play in the top of the 3rd to erase a walk. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Jays loaded the bases thanks to a Justin Smoak double and four-pitch walks to Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales. That chased Jaime Garcia from the game. Russell Martin then cleared the bases with a double off Jonathan Holder.

Marcus Stroman walked the first two batters of the 4th, and one came in to score on a Didi Gregorius single. Stroman then got three straight outs to strand a pair. Toronto added some insurance with a single and a walk, then Josh Donaldson drove in one with a single. Justin Smoak walked to load the bases. Bautista singled to score another run, but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Morales single. Luckily, two runs had already scored, making it 9-1 Toronto.

Stroman left the game with two outs in the 6th, after allowing a home run to Aaron Judge and a double to Jacoby Ellsbury. Matt Dermody came in and allowed a Greg Bird double that plated Ellsbury. That prompted the manager to bring in Ryan Tepera, who got the final out. Tepera continued to pitch the 7th, and Judge hit a two-run homer. Martin doubled again in the 7th but was stranded, and Smoak was hit with a pitch in the 8th. No Yankee runner reached against Tom Koehler in the 8th, or Roberto Osuna who got three strikeouts in the 9th.

Overall Notes:

Before this series began, the team announced Steve Pearce would be shut down for the remainder of the season. Pearce hadn’t played for a few days due to back pain, and is scheduled to have an epidural injection to help with the problem.

Sunday’s game was an emotional one, with Jose Bautista likely saying his goodbyes to the fans in Toronto. He was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. I was at that game and did a full recap of all the tributes made to him, you can read about that here.

Weirdly Specific Record Alert:

- Ryan Goins is the first Blue Jay to hit two grand slams in one season while playing shortstop.

- Teoscar Hernandez is the first Blue Jays rookie ever to homer in three consecutive games

- The Blue Jays pitchers surpassed the franchise record in strikeouts during this series with 1,320 on the season. The previous mark of 1,314 was set in 2016.

My Favourite Player(s) of the week: Estrada/Martin/Hernandez

Marco Estrada pitched a seven-inning, one-run start, with three hits and three walks. He had four strikeouts, and had twice as many fly ball outs as ground outs. If this is what we’ll be seeing from Estrada next year, sign me up.

Russell Martin only played in two of the games in the series, but he made the most of it. In addition to a two-run home run in Game 1, he drove in three runs with a pair of doubles in Game 3. He’s hit five doubles in seven games since coming back from the disabled list – he only had seven all season long before getting hurt.

Teoscar Hernandez went 4-for-12 in this series, with three home runs. He didn’t drive in anyone other than himself, but he did score every time he got on base – a single in Game 1 and a walk in Game 3 both resulted in runs.

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Emily

Emily is a Communications student who grew up with a Roy Halladay poster on the back of her door. A baseball history nerd, she played softball for nine years and changes her favourite Blue Jay on a regular basis. She fondly remembers going to her first Jays game at age six with her father, and spending the whole time staring at the elevators going up the CN Tower.