Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Yanks Sweep First Placed Jays, 2-0, Pull Within 3.5 Games of First

For the first time in seven tries, the New York Yankees completed a three-game sweep, and what was more impressive was that it was against the first place Toronto Blue Jays in the Bronx tonight. Making his 2016 debut was rookie right hander Brian Mitchell, who suffered a terrible foot injury in spring training to prevent him from making an impact with the big club thus far this season. You could not have asked for a better performance out of Mitchell as he recorded his first big league victory of the season while facing one of the toughest lineups in all of baseball. Getting the ball and the loss for Toronto was the only MLB player ever drafted from Duke, Marcus Stroman, falling to 9-7 while actually lowering his ERA to 4.55 in a game that may very well have knocked Toronto out of first place in the East.

Although Stroman held the Yankees scoreless through the first two frames which included four strikeouts, the Bombers got to the New York native in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Starlin Castro's amazing Break out season continued as he launched his 20th homerun of the season, a line drive into the seats in left that put the Yankees up by a 1-0 score. After a ringing opposite field double by Didi Gregorius and a walk to Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann lined a single into right field that scored Gregorius and extended the Yankee lead to two.

Just as former yankee and current color commentator for the YES Network David Cone said, "If you would've said at the beginning of the night that Mitchell was going into the sixth inning against the Jays with a shut out, you would've taken it all day." And that's exactly what the big righty did for the Pinstripers tonight, tossing five innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits while walking and striking out two. Mitchell was pulled for Luis Severino in the top of the sixth after allowing a leadoff double to Devon Travis. Severino's bullpen dominance continued as he went on to retire the next three batters consecutively, finishing off the inning with a 98 mph fastball that struck out Toronto's cleanup hitter Jose Bautista.

In fact, Severino went on to keep the Blue Jays scoreless through eight as Tyler Clippard came on to close out the game in the ninth. Clippard came in and shut the door on the Jay's in the ninth, striking out two in route to his first save as a Yankee in 2016 AND pulled the Yanks to within 3.5 games out of first place in the American League East.

New York welcomes in the last place Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow for a four-games set, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM/EST.

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