Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Jays Blowout Yanks, 7-0 , Complete Series Sweep

     Tonight, as the Yankees tried to avoid being swept by the Blue Jays in Toronto, we were treated to a pitcher's duel that featured two vastly different but equally effective approaches to getting batters out. For New York, Masahiro Tanaka(3-0, 2.89 ERA) makes his living with his splitter and 2-seam fastball, forcing batters to drive the ball into the ground and rarely ever eclipsing 92 mph on the radar gun. Where as the Toronto right hander Aaron Sanchez(4-1, 3.29 ERA) has power stuff, hovering between 95-97 mph with his fastball and fooling hitters with his outstanding curveball.  The Toronto Blue Jays starting staff leads all of baseball in innings pitched and would get another quality outing from their starter tonight as they swept the Yankees.
     Although the game was scoreless through the first four innings, both starters worked in and out of trouble all night long. The Yankees had runners in scoring position in four consecutive innings, unable to come up with the big hit in any of the four frames. Similarly, the Blue Jays also had multiple opportunities to put a dent in the scoreboard and couldn't. In fact, both pitchers eclipsed the 70-pitch mark by the beginning of the fifth inning. And it was in the bottom of the fifth that we saw the first run of the ballgame. Tanaka allowed a leadoff single to shortstop Darwin Barney, who scored on a line drive base hit to right field by the reigning MVP Josh Donaldson, 1-0 Toronto.
     Tanaka found hinself in even more trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning. After allowing a leadoff double to Michael Saunders, Tanaka served up a line drive to centerfield off the bat of Justin Smoak where it was misplayed by Jacoby Ellsbury, allowing Saunders to advance to third and Smoak to first. The Blue Jays would record their second run of the game when Russell Martin grounded into a double play that scored Saunders. Tanaka would escape the inning without any further damage, however, his night was finished due to the elevated 105 pitch count. Yet another fruitless quality start, he left with a final line of six innings pitched, allowing two runs on seven hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.
     As for Aaron Samchez, he pitched extremely well and was pulled in the top of the seventh inning with two outs. Sanchez's final line was an impressive 6.2 innings of shut out ball, allowing seven hits while striking out six. He was lifted for the Blue Jays new acquisition Jason Grilli, who got out of the inning by getting Carlos Beltran to line out to centerfield.
     For the second straight night, the Yankee bullpen just did not have it. After loading the bases, Kirby Yates served up a single to Edwin Encarnacion that scored two, 4-0. Yates would be lifted for Nick Goody who promptly gave up yet another double to Michael Saunders, scoring Donaldson and advancing Encarnacion to these, 5-0 Jays. And then Justin Smoak plated both runners when he ripped a single to right,7-0, putting the game out of reach for the inept Yankee offense, an offense that ranks dead last in slugging percentage and third worst in batting average with runners in scoring position. Toronto has truly been the Yankees Achilles' heel this season, going 7-2 against New York so far this year.
     Here's to hoping they can somehow make a major turn around when they take on the Tigers in a rainout makeup game in Detroit, with first pitch scheduled for 7:40 PM ET.

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