It’s a shame that the Yankees couldn’t provide a decent offense because Masahiro Tanaka’s start in the weekend finale against the Blue Jays was rather good. He threw 80 pitches over 6 innings, getting himself into and out of trouble. He only gave up 3 hits, 2 runs, and no walks, striking out 5 Toronto batters. Those two runs were both 1-out solo home runs in the 1st and 4th innings.
And all of Yankee Universe waited for the Yankee offense that never really sparked all afternoon.
Meanwhile, the pitching staff tried to fend off the Blue Jays’ minor offensive attempts. Adam Warren came on in relief in the 7th and promptly loaded the bases with no outs on a single, a walk, and a nasty hit-by-pitch. Justin Wilson took over to get Warren out of this situation with consecutive strike outs and a fly out to get out of the inning. The 8th inning was split between Wilson, Branden Pinder, and Chasen Shreve. Shreve kept the scoreless momentum going through the 9th inning, all hoping for the Yankee rally.
The rally at the bottom of the 9th never came.
The Yankees were shut out and swept this weekend. And the Blue Jays are now within 1.5 games of the Yankees in the AL East.
Final score in the Bronx: 2-0 Toronto, Blue Jays sweep Yankees.
There really isn’t much to talk about with this game. But I do want to mention one incident that could have ended terribly. Look, I know there are many “unwritten rules” in baseball, even for fans. One of those being is how to properly deal with catching an opposing team’s home run ball. Generally, the standard “etiquette”, if you will, is to give it to a kid, keep it if you’re a fan of the opposing team, or throw it back on the field. I have mixed feelings on the latter, though I understand the emotional reasoning behind it.
Today, during the home run hit in the 4th inning, three kids who caught the home run ball threw it back into the field and promptly hit Brett Gardner on the back. Again, I understand the drive to want to rid yourself of what would be seen as tainted property. I’ve never been the kind of person to collect baseballs or autographs. I have one baseball from my birthday last year that was gifted to me by a very nice security person following the game. And I’ve been nearly hit by a ball during batting practice (my mother has that one), and my mom was hit by a foul ball (we gave that one to a girl seated next to us). That being said, every time I go to a game, I locate the nearest kid (preferably one with a glove) that I plan on giving that ball to should another ball make its way into my vicinity.
Do yourself and the players on the field a favor. Find a kid. Any kid. If there’s not one in your section, go find one somewhere in the stadium. In a crowd of over 42,000 people, I guarantee you there’s at least a few thousand kids that would love a baseball. And they don’t care if it was hit by someone wearing bright blue or navy blue. They’ll walk away thinking some grown-up gifted them with a baseball. Make a kid’s day and give them the gift of hope in the form of a 5 oz sphere of cork and cowhide to be adored and cherished by said kid for a lifetime.
A day off and a week away could be the best thing for the Yankees after this weekend. A change of circumstance is often needed to refresh one’s spirit and determination.