This series was unpleasant to watch pretty much from start to finish (Jano’s walk off last night excepted). The Jays’ pitching was mostly pretty good, but the offence is back to scuffling pretty badly. Tonight was no exception.
Jose Berrios got into trouble right off the bat. Gleyber Torres started the game off with a single lined to left, and Aaron Judge staked the Yankees to a 2-0 lead with a shot to deep centre field.
He tightened things up from that point on, though. He retired 12 of the next 13 batters, with the exception being hitting Anthony Volpe on the hand in the second.
The Yankees sort of threatened in the fifth. Volpe worked a leadoff walk, and after a Kyle Higashioka strikeout Arron Hicks hit a grounder back to the mound that Berrios tried to bare hand, instead deflecting it and turning a room service double play ball into a single. It was a tough play for Berrios, and while it would have been better to let it go he didn’t really have time to react. Anyway, it didn’t end up mattering as Torres came up next and hit into a double play himself to end the inning. They also came close to adding onto their lead in the sixth, as Judge hit a double off the very top of the wall in centre field that almost got out. Berrios got the next three batters, though, including strike outs of Anthony Rizzo and Harrison Bader.
The seventh started with an Oswaldo Cabrera double to the gap in right. Berrios battled back to strike Volpe out and get a fly ball from Higashioka that Varsho made a very nice sliding catch on, but then gave up a line single to Aaron Hicks that brought Cabrera home and extended the Yankees lead to 3-1. Yimi Garcia was brought in to try to get out of the inning. He gave up a ground ball single to Torres but struck Judge out to stop the bleeding there.
Overall it was a pretty good night for Berrios. He allowed three runs in 6.2, but on only six hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out eight. He takes the L, but I would argue that the blame lies with the lineup more than with him.
The offence had a hard time with Nestor Cortes. The southpaw has been struggling this year after spending last season on the fringes of Cy Young contention, but tonight he kept the hitters off balance pretty effectively. The Jays did get on the board in the bottom of the first, courtesy of a Bo Bichette home run that cut the Yankees lead to one, but that was all they’d manage. They got two men on in the third, with singles by Brandon Belt and Bichette, but a Matt Chapman strikeout ended the inning without a score. Daulton Varsho got on in the fourth with a bunt single, but then got himself caught stealing.
They had their chance in the seventh against Ryan Weber. Whit Merrifield and Danny Jansen singled and Alejandro Kirk walked to load the bases with nobody out. Brandon Belt popped up for the first out. Vladimir Guerrero jr. pinch hit, which was nice to see given his injury scare this week, and managed at least to hit a fly ball deep enough to bring Merrifield in. George Springer actually made the best contact of the inning, but it was a line out to centre to end the inning at 3-2. You need to get more than one with the bases loaded and nobody out, facing a bad reliever. That’s not how the Jays are going right now, though.
That was pretty much the end of it. Nate Pearson worked the final two innings for the Jays, giving up a solo homer to Volpe to make it 4-2 as well as a double and a walk, striking out one. For the Yankees, Albert Abreu and Ron Marinaccio each worked a clean inning to close it out.
Jays of the Day: Bichette (0.106)
We’re not mad, we’re just disappointed: The other eight hitters? Sepecifically, though, Springer (-0.190), Chapman (-0.162), Varsho (-0.113), and Belt (-0.107)
I won’t miss the Yankees (we don’t get the pleasure of their company again until September). It doesn’t get any easier, though, as the inexplicably 28-16 Orioles come to town. Kyle Gibson (4-3, 4.67) will face Yusei Kikuchi (5-0, 3.89). First pitch is set for 7:07pm ET.