The Rogers Center was chock full of Blue Jays fans wanting to see Jose Bautista in a Blue Jays uniform one last time. Which...happened. It would sure be glorious if he could hit a dinger tomorrow, just for old times’ sake.
Joe Biagini got off to a fantastic start by striking out both Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge. The strike out to Judge was particularly notable, as it named him as the first Yankee in franchise history to strike out 200 times in a single season. The Yankees had their first baserunner in the 2nd on Chase Headley ground ball that Justin Smoak normally makes the play on, but it was erased on Jacoby Ellsbury double play. Average Joe retired the Yankees in the 3rd on 10 pitches.
Biagini got into a bit of a pickle in the 4th, when a Judge double and a walk to Sanchez put two one with one out, but Goins/Barney made a very nice line-out/double off play to end the inning.
The hitters got to Sonny Gray early in the 1st, but couldn’t capitalize. Teoscar Hernandez was called out on a 3rd strike that wasn’t a strike, and a Josh Donaldson walk and a Smoak single were stranded after Jose Bautista and Kendrys Morales hit baseballs right to outfielders.
The Jays did manage to score their first run in the 3rd. In his ongoing audition for an outfield spot next year, Teoscar Hernandez hit a Sonny Gray fastball 430 feet to the flight deck in center field for his second home run in his second at bat for the second day in a row.
The Blue Jays lost their slim 1-run lead in the 5th. Chase Headley walked, then stole second. After an Ellsbury strikeout, Starlin Castro walked too, and Greg Bird drove them all home with a first pitch 3-run homer. Joe also walked the number 9 hitter, Todd Frazier, but Brett Gardner lined into another line-out/double-off double play. The Jays stranded a Raffy Lopez bunt single in the bottom of the 5th.
Danny Barnes retired his hitters in order on 9 pitches in the top of the 6th.
The Jays threatened again in the bottom of the 6th. Smoak walked, Bautista “just got under” a hittable pitch for a pop-up, and Morales also walked to put two on with one out. Kevin Pillar hit a beautiful liner that would have been extra bases had it not been for Brett Gardner and his continued goal of preventing us from having nice things. Goins had an opportunity be the hero again, but couldn’t tap into his RISPY-powers (needed a man on third too, probably) and Gray was let off the hook.
Aaron Loup pitched a clean top of the 7th, helped out by a perfect Lopez toss to second to catch Ellsbury stealing. The Jays couldn’t get anything going off Chad Green in the bottom of the 7th.
Tim Mayza pitched in the 8th. He got two outs but gave up a homer to Todd Frazier. Since it’s September and John Gibbons loves his match-ups, he sent Luis Santos out to take care of Judge (which he did).
Josh Donaldson just missed hitting a home run in the bottom of the 8th off David Robertson.
The Yankees got another run off Santos in the top of the 9th to take them out of a save situation. Gary Sanchez doubled, advanced to third on a ground-out, and scored on another ground ball that Josh Donaldson bobbled.
Aroldis Chapman got his three batters out, including pinch hitter Rob Refsnyder (sure).
Jays of the day: Smoak had the high mark (0.88), but Hernandez should get one too for the Jays only run.
Suckage: Biagini (-.118), Bautista (-.128, 0/4), Goins (-0.95, 0/3) and Pillar (-.118, 0/4), but he was robbed of a RBI.
Tomorrow the Blue Jays will send out Marcus Stroman out in front a likely sold out crowd for what will inevitably be Jose Bautista’s last home game as a Blue Jay. The Yankees will counter in the rubber match with Jaime Garcia, the pitcher who was traded to the Twins and then traded away again when the Twins couldn’t decide if they were contenders or not.
The Blue Jays are giving away sleeved blankets to the first 20,000 fans...which could make for some interesting crowd shots tomorrow. At the very least, the sleeves can be used to dab teary eyes as Toronto bids adieu to a franchise legend.
Shout out to the squad for the help with the recap title: