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Jays fall to Yankees in First Game of Big Series

Fall back to 3 games behind the Yankees, but a Sox loss keeps them 1 out of a playoff spot

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2

Bad luck early, good pitching by the Yankees, and bad pitching in odd innings sinks the Jays.

On the bad luck side of things, we’ll start with this tweet:

The first one was Hyun Jin Ryu’s final pitch of the night, a good pitch up 0-2 on a lefty. Anthony Rizzo slapped it to LF, scoring a run from second. The throw home from Dickerson should have gotten the runner at the plate, but it was outside the line and hit the runner, allowing the other two runners to move up as well. A sac fly from Judge scored the second run in that 5th inning.

The second one was even tougher, the final pitch from Trevor Richards. With 2-outs and 2-on with 2 strikes, Giancarlo Stanton put that pitch deep into the second deck in LF. Stanton is on a scorching hot streak, and is even able to crush these impossible to hit pitches.

The other two runs for the Yankees came on solo home runs. The first by Aaron Judge in the 3rd inning, on a 92 mph fastball about as middle middle as a pitch can be. The second on a cement mixer slider on the inner half of the plate to Gio Urshela.

On offense, the Jays had their opportunities early, running aggressively on Gary Sánchez with first inning stolen bases by George Springer and Bo Bichette. Springer scored from second on the two out single by Bichette for the Jays’ first run.

The second run came in the fourth inning. Bichette led off with a single, made it safely to second after taking off before a Teoscar Hernández groundout to second. Corey Dickerson hit a 2-out double to drive him in.

Bichette replaced a Vladdy walk with a fielder’s choice in the 6th, then moved to second on a wild pitch. But representing the tying run at second, Bichette was thrown out trying to advance on another ball in the dirt. A walk and wild pitch got Teo to second, but he was stranded there, the third time in six innings the Jays left a runner at second.

And that was it for the offense. The three hits and four walks, two stolen bases and two wild pitches.

The Yankees got good pitching from predominantly their bullpen in this one. Starter Jameson Taillon worked through 2.1 innings, getting through the order just once before leaving with a “reaggravation of his previous ankle injury”.

Michael King came on in emergency relief, giving 2.2 effective innings, before a parade of relievers throwing 1.0 inning apiece kept them off the board and out of the hit column.

In his return from the IL, Hyun Jin Ryu looked pretty strong. His final line of 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk over just 4.1 innings doesn’t quite paint a fair picture of how he looked. His stuff was strong, but he struggled finishing off a very pesky and hot Yankee lineup. Most other nights, I think his stuff results in a strong outing.

Cimber ended the 5th inning on 3 pitches. Pearson got the 6th inning, getting a pair of strikeouts and a walk, hitting 100 and looking strong.

Richards got the 7th, allowed a single, walk and then that tough luck Stanton home run. Joe Siddall made a good point about sequencing leading to Stanton looking for that pitch, but it was still a hell of job for Stanton to even get to it.

Merryweather finished the 7th and got the 8th inning, using his appearance against the Yankees to unlock his early season dominance. He struck out 2 of the 4 batters he faced, with a double play getting him the other 2 outs. His fastball touched 99, and his slider looked sharp too. If there were any silver linings in this loss, it was the great outings by Pearson and Merryweather.

Anthony Castro got the 9th inning, and earned his forthcoming option. He allowed a home run, walk and double, throwing 29 pitches while labouring through the inning. With the Jays likely needing an arm for tomorrow after rolling through 5 relievers today, he’s likely to be the one headed out.

On the positive side of things, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles 4-2, so the Jays remain a game behind them for the second Wild Card spot. The Mariners are playing at the moment to see if they slot in half a game behind the Jays or half a game ahead of them.

Jays of the Day: None. The high mark was Dickerson thanks to his RBI double, coming in at .082.

Suckage Jays: Ryu (-.121), Richards (-.241), and Gurriel (-.117)

Back at it tomorrow evening at 7:07, with José Berríos facing off against Gerrit Cole.

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