There are graphs you can find on the internet that track a team’s odds of winning live during the game. It starts out even because both teams could potentially win the game, and then as the game progresses and runs are scored, it spikes one way or another. And things were looking really great for the Yankees, the graphs spiking in their favor. But then, a single swing caused a nosedive on the charts until the graph ran out of room, or rather they ran out of outs.
For the final game in “The Big Smoke“, the Yankees actually had a pretty good start, dominating the Blue Jays with some pretty good pitching once again. Sonny Gray got the start, while his pitch count was high (89 pitches in just 4 innings), he was able to limit the Blue Jays to a single allowed run and 8 strikeouts, despite 7 hits and 3 walks. With 1 out in the 2nd, Gray gave up a walk and a single. The next batter hit into a deep single, but Aaron Judge’s power arm from right threw to Romine for the out at home. Another single then scored the Jays’ first run.
Meanwhile, the Yankees gave Gray a bit of leeway. With 2 outs in the 3rd, Stanton worked a walk and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ double. Neil Walker’s single then scored Gregorius, and Brandon Drury’s first homer as a Yankee was a solid 2-run shot over the left field wall. (Here’s John Sterling’s call — thoughts?)
It’s worth noting that in that inning alone were 3 of the Yankees’ 5 total hits today, but they were getting on base with walks (6 total). But they weren’t doing much beyond getting on base. And while that’s half the battle, it isn’t everything. Hits don’t win games, runs do. But the Yankees had that nice lead for most of the game.
Reliever Chad Green came on for the 5th and 6th innings and powered through the Blue Jays’ lineup, getting 4 of his 6 outs with strikeouts. Green is certainly proving how valuable he is to the bullpen. Tommy Kahnle started the 7th inning but got into some trouble off the top, giving up a walk and a big 2-run home run up the middle to put the Blue Jays within a run of the Yankees’ lead. Two outs later, David Robertson was called in to get the final out of that inning.
Robertson’s 8th inning, however, was just so less than ideal for the veteran reliever — a single, an out, a double, an out, an intentional walk to load the bases, a giant grand slam to give the Blue Jays the lead, and finally the 3rd out of the inning. The damage was done, and the Blue Jays just needed 3 outs, which they got thanks to the excellence of their new closer.
Final score: 7-4 Blue Jays, they split the series 2-2
Next up: the Yankees head home to the Bronx for their Home Opener against the Rays tomorrow afternoon. The Yankees will play tomorrow, then take an off-day, and then play the second of the 2-game series on Wednesday afternoon. (Brace yourself, it’s a really weird schedule this year.)
Roster moves: And the Yankees made the move we discussed after yesterday’s game official today. They sent Billy McKinney to the DL with his shoulder injury, recalling Miguel Andujar for the roster.
As disappointing as today’s result was, the best news was that there were no injuries. And that’s kind of sad not even week into the regular season.
Anyway, a very Happy Easter to those who celebrate!