I’m so tired of talking about the weather. But when the first pitch comes with a temperature of 46° and a wind chill of 37°, it’s hard not to factor in the lingering winter-like chill, despite the calendar clearly indicating late April. I’d blame that as to why the Blue Jays, who play in Toronto, but my argument falls short as they have a retractable roof, and most of their players are not from the frigid north. I mean, perhaps, the initial idea was to form teams from players in the area, but 149 years later, rarely do you truly get a “hometown hero”. (For reference: the Yankees have one — Dellin Betances, who was born and raised in New York and grew up a big Yankees fan.)
So I guess it’s just down to the basics — the team that scored the most runs won. And the team that pitched less clean lost. Sonny Gray just had a really tough time in tonight’s start. He threw 73 pitches into the 4th inning, giving up 5 hits, 4 walks, and 5 runs, and couldn’t strike out a Blue Jay batter at all. With 1 out in the 3rd, he gave up a walk and a 2-run home run. In the 4th, a lead-off double scored on a ground-rule double. A single put runners on the corners before both scored on a 1-out single. After giving up a walk, the Yankees opted to end Gray’s troubled night.
They brought in Domingo German in relief, and despite promptly loading up the bases with a walk, he got out of the inning with 2 short fly outs to keep the Jays from adding to their score. But German had his own troubles in the 5th. A lead-off walk, a single, and a 1-out walk loaded the bases. A short single scored one run, and a 2-out walk scored one more, before German got out of a bases-loaded jam.
Adam Warren came on in relief and promptly gave up a solo home run to lead off the 6th inning. But then quickly got 3 outs before dominating the 7th and most of the 8th and keeping the Jays from doing any further damage. Chasen Shreve closed out the 8th and sailed through the 9th — throwing just 10 pitches for his 4 outs.
It is worth noting that the Yankee pitchers gave up 9 hits and 9 walks, and their bullpen collected 7 strikeouts (as Gray got none in his start). That’s 18 allowed base runners tonight.
The Yankees actually got on the board first in the 2nd inning. Hicks worked a 1-out walk and then scored as part of Tyler Austin’s 2-run home run. In the 3rd, Gregorius hit a 2-out single and then was part of Giancarlo Stanton’s 2-run home run. And in the 4th, Miguel Andujar hit a bit 2-out solo home run.
All the Yankee runs today were scored off home runs. That says a lot about the Blue Jays’ defense tonight, as the Yankees actually racked up 11 total hits and a walk.
Final score: 8-5 Blue Jays
On the plus side: for those local Yankee fans heading out to the game this weekend, the temperatures are going to be around 60°, sunny and clear skies. In other words, Spring may peak its head out this weekend and prove some great days for baseball. Hopefully, the on-field performance will be as positive and hopeful as the Yankees finish this series against the Blue Jays.
Also, after some rather tepid (often nearing ranting level) responses to his home run call for Stanton, Yankees radio broadcaster John Sterling found a new one, which he showed off during Stanton’s 3rd inning blast. Oh, and Sterling sings. Thoughts?