Today was a beautiful Spring day in the Bronx, a great day for Sunday afternoon baseball as the Yankees were looking at winning their first regular series (read: not those 2-game micro-series) this season. And the Blue Jays were hoping for a split to boost their big start this April. It could only fall one way, and the Yankees were just in command from the start.
That was mostly due to the outstanding outing by Luis Severino. He threw 112 pitches in his 7 innings, but gave up just 3 hits, 2 walks, and a run, and struck out 6 Blue Jay batters. In fact, that lone run didn’t happen until the 6th inning, a 1-out solo shot to get the Jays on the board. Robertson continued the dominance through the 8th, and Chapman got into a spot of trouble with a couple walks in the 9th, but he got out of it like he does, keeping the Blue Jays to that lone run.
Meanwhile, the Yankees gave Severino a bit of leeway that he wouldn’t need. Didi Gregorius hit a 2-out solo home run in the 1st inning to start their offense. In the 2nd, Sanchez led-off with a walk and moved to 3rd on Andujar’s 1-out double. They both then scored on Austin Romine’s double. And after the Blue Jays got on the board, the Yankees answered back in the bottom of the 6th. With 1 out, Sanchez doubled and moved to 3rd on Tyler Austin’s single.
After the Jays went to their bullpen for a reliever, Miguel Andujar’s double scored Sanchez. (By the way, Andujar went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored today, and is currently batting .308. So much for your average bench player.) And in the 7th, Hicks led-off with a single, stole 2nd and ended up at 3rd on a throwing error, and then scored on Gregorius’ sacrifice fly.
Final score: 5-1 Yankees, Yankees win series 3-1
Next up: the Yankees host the Twins for a 4-game midweek series, starting Monday. This will end with that rare Thursday matinée, as the Yankees will be hopping a plane for Los Angeles to face the Angels. (Yes, West Coast Week starts early this year, so prepare now.)
Roster moves (Scranton Shuttle Alert!): before today’s game, the Yankees designated Jace Peterson for assignment and optioned Tyler Wade to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In the process, they signed reliever David Hale from AAA Scranton and recalled infield prospect Gleyber Torres from AAA Scranton.
There were two things that Yankee Universe talked about for this game today. First, the Yankees called up prospect Gleyber Torres for his first major league game. Despite playing mostly shortstop (and a little 3rd base) in Scranton, he actually started at 2nd base and batted 8th in the lineup. However, today, he went 0-for-4 at the plate, so he’s still waiting for that 1st big hit.
Torres is only 21 years old, and this prompted a brief conversation about how old the Yankees are this season. In today’s starting roster, there was no one over 30. In fact, catcher Austin Romine was the oldest starter at 29 years and 151 days. A huge shift from recent years where the Yankees were often the oldest team in the MLB, due to its plethora of veterans including Jeter, Rodriguez, Ichiro, Kuroda, Soriano, Teixeira, and Sabathia (who is currently the oldest active Yankee at age 37).
But the thing most people will talk about regarding this game is the replay in the 8th. So here’s what happened — with 1 out, Tyler Austin hit a short grounder to the short stop who fired it to the 1st baseman for the out. But it seemed that the 1st baseman was pulled off by a slightly off throw, so the Yankees challenged the call. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, thought this would be overturned quickly because he clearly caught the ball off the base and never got back for the tag.
Unfortunately, MLB HQ upheld the call. And everyone, and I do mean everyone, disagreed with that call. Yankees’ Twitter-verse was not happy about that. And I don’t blame them. That human factor ekes into the smallest crevices sometimes and just messes up “foolproof” technology. Talk to any NFL fan about their replay experiences to commiserate. Today’s was about as bad.
To be fair, the Yankees (thanks to Special Assistant Brett Weber) have been extremely successful in their replay challenged, constantly rating among the highest in MLB. So, let’s just consider today a fluke. Hopefully.