Justin Smoak was the star again. Three hits yesterday. Today, 3 hits again, with 2 home runs.
It was the second home run that was the big one. In the bottom of the 8th, Russell Martin led off with a single. Then Kevin Pillar lined out (after a long very good at bat), Aledmys Diaz followed with his first hit as a Jay. I thought Martin would score but the Yankees got it in too quick. Devon Travis, with the tying run at third, tapped out to the pitcher on the first pitch, not a good at bat.
Then the Yankees made a huge mistake, walking Josh Donaldson to load the bases. Justin worked the count full and then crushed one to center field.
Walking Josh was just stupid. Josh is starting to look better, but he’s had a tough time making hard contact. You have to pitch to him. Add in that Josh is a RHB, and David Robertson is a RHP, while Smoak is a switch hitter, pitching to the guy who already has a homer was just dumb and I’m glad they were dumb.
Up until the bottom of the 8th, it looked like we were going to lose a game we really should have won. We had 2 guys on base in each of the first 3 innings, yet we only scored 1 run. I thought that was going to haunt us. We could have had a big second inning, but Aaron Judge made an excellent throw to get Russell Martin at the plate. He really shouldn't have been sent. We scored 1 that inning but it should have been more.
We scored 2 in the 7th off Smoak’s first home run of the game.
On the pitching side, Marcus Stroman looked very good, except after he got to 2 outs in the 3rd inning.
In that inning, after getting Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge to strikeout, he gave up a Giancarlo Stanton walk (understandable), a DiDi Gregorius double, a Neil Walker single (ground ball rolling through the infield) and then a Brandon Drury home run.
Other than that he was great, maybe a few too many pitches, but the Yankees tend to work the count. In all, 5 innings 3 hits (all 3 with 2 outs in the 3rd), 4 earned, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts.
Our bullpen was great. We had four scoreless innings. One each from Danny Barnes, John Axford (who worried us by walking 2), Tyler Clippard (getting the win) and Seung-hwan Oh picking up the save, since Roberto Osuna pitched in the last two games.
Offensively, we had 12 hits and 5 walks, and we should have scored more early on. Smoak and Kevin Pillar had 3 hits each. Pillar is looking great at the plate. We’ve seen hot steaks before from Kevin, but I’m hoping he can keep this going. Donaldson reached base 3 times, 1 single, 2 walks. Aledmys Diaz (a double) and Gift Ngoepe had their first hits as Blue Jays.
Curtis Granderson (0 for 4 with 2 k) and Randal Grichuk (0 for 4, 2 strikeouts) were the only starters without a hit. A timely hit from either would have taken a lot of stress off us.
Jays of the Day: SMOAK (.812 WPA), Diaz (.234) and Donaldson (.097).
Suckage: Stroman (-.204, kind of unfair), Granderson (-.154), Grichuk (-.141), Travis (-.140, mostly on the first pitch ground out in the 8th) and Solarte (-.094).
That was so much fun today. Next up the White Sox.
We had 821 comments in our Easter Sunday GameThread. DangYouToHeck led us to victory again. We have to battle him, he’s running away with things.
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