Tough loss. Kevin Gausman was excellent, the defence was strong, but the offence just could not get anything done. Some questionable strike calls hurt the cause, but the Jays also only really hit five or six balls well.
More concerningly, that’s two bad outing in a row for Jordan Romano. The Jays need their closer to right the ship, both for this week and hopefully in the wildcard series.
We got a great pitcher’s duel tonight. Kevin Gausman took a while to warm up, issuing two walks in a 28 pitch first inning, but he clamped down from there. The next 13 Yankees went down in order, and New York didn’t get a hit until a broken bat bloop fell in for Estevan Florial to lead off the sixth. DJ Lemahieu grounded into a double play, though, and Gausman was still rolling. The Yankees finally managed to threaten in the top of the seventh. Giancarlo Stanton smoked a low liner past Bo Bichette and into the left field gap for a double. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a ground ball single into right field that would have scored a lot of runners, but at this point in his career Stanton has the “shoes full of broken glass” gait I usually associate with NBA centres on their last legs, and he was held at third. Oswaldo Cabrera got into a tense 10 pitch battle with Gausman, during which Kiner-Falefa stole second. Gausman won, though, getting a ground out that Bichette was able to throw back home to get Stanton at the plate. An Oswad Peraza fly out preserved the shutout. Gausman’s final line was no runs on three hits and two walks over seven, striking out five.
On the other side, Michael King was just as strong as when the Jays last saw him in New York. He got a little help with a couple of egregious strike calls from umpire Malachi Moore, including ringing up Vladimir Guerrero jr. on a slider several inches below the zone to end the first inning. The Jays got their first real chance in the third, with Alejandro Kirk hitting a ground ball single and George Springer and Bo Bichette walking, but Guerrero was called out on strikes (this time it was questionable but not awful). They’d add a walk in each of the next three innings, but could do nothing with them. King allowed five walks over six, but just one hit while striking out five
They’d threaten again in the bottom of the seventh. Reliever Jhony Brito issued a one out walk to Daulton Varsho, who after a Kirk line out stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw, but Kevin Kiermaier grounded out before he could make it home.
Erik Swanson took over for Gausman and worked a 1-2-3 eighth.
Bichette lined a single off Brito in the eighth, but Vlad grounded into a double play to erase the opportunity.
Jordan Romano came in for the ninth, hoping to bounce back from his meltdown at the Trop. He could not. Gleyber Torres lined a lead off single, and Austin Wells lofted a two run homer into the Blue Jays bullpen.
Facing Clay Holmes in the ninth, Chapman managed a one out single but the Jays were again unable to capitalize.
Jays of the Day: Gausman (0.435), Swanson (0.104)
Suckage: Romano (-0.413), Springer (-0.113), Guerrero (-0.160), Biggio (-0.136)
We’re back tomorrow night at 7:07pm ET for game two. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (14-4, 2.75) squares off against Jose Berrios (11-11, 3.58).