Pitcher Chris Capuano started the 2014 season as a member of the Red Sox, but then he was released and picked up by the Rockies before being traded back to the East Coast for cash considerations. This time, instead of pitching for the rowdy Boston crowd, he was putting on rival pinstripes to pitch for the rowdy New York crowd. Today, he got the start for the Yankees against another AL East rival — the Blue Jays.
Capuano had the unfortunate draw of pitching a no-decision for his first outing for the Yankees — 94 pitches over 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, and 4 walks, and striking out 4 Toronto batters. It was mentioned briefly in the broadcast that Capuano may have tired in his latter innings because he was mainly pitching out of the bullpen this year; the most pitches thrown prior to today’s game was about 50. This argument makes some sense as his allowed runs only came in the 5th inning. First, he allowed an RBI double, before loading the bases so a run could score on a sacrifice fly.
Now, that would tie up the game as the Yankees already got their own 2 runs across the plate in the previous inning. Beltran on base with a walk, it was Brian McCann to smack a solid 2-run home run into the Yankee’s bullpen.
Shawn Kelley came on to relieve Capuano in the 7th and instantly struggled. He quickly loaded the bases with a walk, a double, and a poorly executed fielder’s choice before finally getting his first out (a strikeout). So they called on Matt Thornton, but a quick single allowed the leading run to score before Thornton got the Yankees out of that inning. The run was charged to Kelley, of course, who would also get credit for the loss today. Thornton came back out for the 8th and kept the Jays at their 3-2 lead.
For the 9th inning, the Yankees called on former starter Chase Whitley, who moved to the bullpen on the acquisition of Capuano. He seemed to be a little out of his element, allowing a lead-off walk and a double before recording an out. It may take some time for him to find the pattern of being a reliever again. And with 2 men on and just 1 out, Jeff Francis was asked to put a stop to this late inning Jays’ rally. He did the opposite — giving up a 3-run home run. And the score was 6-2 Blue Jays going into the bottom of the 9th inning.
So the Yankees had a 4-run deficit to attempt a rally in their last half inning. With Ellsbury on base with a single and one out, Carlos Beltran plants a 2-run home run into the right field seats right next to the Yankees’ bullpen, cutting the Jays lead to 6-4. But a quick 2 outs later, the ball game was over. The Yankees lost. And the Blue Jays had officially snapped their 17 game losing streak in the Bronx (dating back to 2012).
It’s too bad, but as most streaks do, there was bound to be an end at some point in time.
Tomorrow is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony of three great managers (including Joe Torre) and three former players. If you don’t happen to be in the middle of New York state to participate in the ceremonies in person, you can catch full coverage on MLB Network beginning at noon, with the induction ceremony to start at 1:30 pm. (All times are Eastern Standard Time.) That is unless you’re in the Bronx watching the Yankees play the final game of the weekend series against Toronto at 1:05 tomorrow afternoon.
Personally, I will be double-screening it tomorrow (watching the ceremonies on TV and the game on my computer), all the while wishing part of me was at Cooperstown and part of me was in the Bronx — basically anywhere but where I currently am this weekend.
(And a spoiler alert from Cooperstown in case you are busy watching baseball or doing something else less awesome: all six men elected to the Hall of Fame do get in. There are no losers at the Hall of Fame, just winners. Perhaps, how they get that name…)