Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Yanks Fall to Jays, 7-4, Lose Crucial Series

Once again, the Yankees were unable to get the job done as they fell to the rival Blue Jays in the rubber game of the three-game set. Getting the call and suffering the loss for New York today was C.C. Sabathia. The big lefty drops to 7-10 on the season in a game that he really didn't lose, as he struck out a season-high 12 batters, but fell victim to some shotty defense and another couple of big innings for the high-powered Toronto offense. One of the best pitchers in all of baseball, J.A. Happ improved to 17-3 with his roller coaster of a performance on a beautiful afternoon in the Bronx.

Both starters had a perfect first, but it was the top of the second that saw the first runs of the game touch home plate. Troy Tulowitzki started the scoring rally with a single to beat the shift, followed by a Melvin Upton Jr. walk. Ezekiel Carrera then ripped a double over the head of Brett Gardner, scoring Tulowitzki to put the Blue Jays up 1-0. Then, the light-hitting backup utility infielder Darwin Barney collected a double of his own, this of the ground ball variety to left that scored both Upton Jr. and Carrera to extend the Toronto lead to three.

Like they have done throughout this recent homestand, the Yankees used the longball to get back into the game against Happ and the Jays. Gary Sanchez continued to stay hot as the newest four-hole hitter in the lineup launched his third homerun in the last 1.1 games. a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the second to make it a 3-1 ballgame. And then in the bottom of the fourth, Starlin Castro took a Happ fastball down the left-field line and just over the fence for his career high 15th blast of the season to inch the Yanks closer at 3-2.

However, the Jays continue to pour it on, using the Yankees poor defense against themselves in the top of the fifth. Josh Donaldson reached base on a fielding error by Gregorius and advanced to third when Chase Headley was unable to complete an inning ending double-play, tossing the ball over first baseman Tyler Austin's head. The next batter Russell Martin then laced a single into right that scored Donaldson and put the Birds back up by two. Melvin Upton Jr. capped off the monster inning when he hit his first homerun as a Blue Jay, an opposite field blast to right that opened the game up to a 7-2 score.

Chase Headley got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth, belting another solo shot off the facing of the upper deck in left to make it a 7-3 game.

The Bombers did knock Happ out of the game in the bottom of the eighth as they attempted to come back on their division rivals. Chase Headley hit a one out single to short, which prompted manager Jon Gibbons to pull Happ for Joaquin Benoit. The veteran righty then allowed back to back singles to Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, with the latter scoring Headley and moving the Yankees back to within three.

Outside of the three solo shots, J.A. Happ held the Yankees to just seven total hits in 7.1 innings of work. The other four hits were all singles and Happ also struck out nine as he recorded his 17th victory of the season. And this is why that loss was so important last night, because the Yankees had that game won before the rain delay, which would have led to a crucial series win.  They cannot continue to drop games/series against teams that are above them in both playoff races if they expect to play baseball in October.

The Pinstripers head to the airport after the game, embarking on a west coast road trip that begins with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, with first pitch scheduled for Friday at 10:05 PM/EST.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)