Runs! As in more than one! And now the magic number is two.
Also, what a cap to an outstanding year for Chris Bassitt. He worked seven and two thirds (and could easily have gone eight but Schneider wanted to give him a curtain call once he hit 200 innings). That total makes him one of just two pitchers in the American league to reach the milestone (Luis Castillo might join him on Saturday). He got there in style, blowing Aaron Judge away for a career high tying twelfth punchout. He dropped his ERA to 3.60, ninth in the league among qualifiers. Exceptional work, Chris.
Bassitt gave up a double to Giancarlo Stanton in the second, and an infield single to Estevan Florial in the third (plus an intentional walk to Aaron Judge after that). The Yankees managed two more singles in the next four and two thirds and never threatened.
Yimi Garcia came in for the last out of the eighth, getting a Gleyber Torres ground out.
Tim Mayza had a little bit of trouble in the ninth, giving up an infield single to Oswado Cabrera and a double to Anthony Volpe, but escaped the jam and preserved the shutout.
The offence wasn’t great early. Cavan Biggio and Alejandro Kirk singled in the second, but couldn’t make it home. Daulton Varsho opened the scoring in the third, though, on a high solo shot to right centre field. They loaded the bases after that on a George Springer double, a Bo Bichette single, and a Biggio walk, but Kirk flew out before they could extend the lead.
Matt Chapman added a second solo shot in the fourth. It was his first since the fourth of August, amazingly. He’s been one of the worst hitters in baseball over that span, and it was good to see him do something positive. It’d help a lot if he could demonstrate some signs of life in however many games are left in Toronto’s season.
That was it for Luke Weaver, who was lucky to get away with two runs over four having given up six hits (two homers) and a walk. The Jays third run came in the fifth off Greg Weissert, this time on some small ball. Bichette singled and stole second, and Biggio brought him home on a line single of his own.
Zach McAllister relieved Weissert in the sixth. Finally, the Jays were able to land a knockout punch against a Yankee pitcher in this series. Varsho worked a one out walk, Springer hit a bloop single into right, and Brandon Belt hit a moonshot out to right to make it 6-0. It’s been great to see Belt come back from the IL hot, with two hits last night and a bomb here.
Yoendrys Gomez made his MLB debut in the seventh and looked pretty impressive. He recorded four Ks in two shutout innings.
Jays of the Day: Bassitt (0.330), Biggio (0.114), Varsho (0.116)
Can We Trade Them to the Mariners: nobody!
That’s it for the Yankees this year. The Jays go 6-7 against them, which isn’t great but is better than it looked like it’d be earlier in the year. Next up is the Rays, against whom Toronto is actually a solid 5-5 after a great series in the Trop last week. Secure the series win here and they’ll also punch their own ticket to the playoffs.
John Schneider wouldn’t commit to starting pitchers for the Rays series as of this afternoon, but it would be Hyun Jin Ryu’s (3-3, 3.31) turn. The Rays have announced that they’ll use Aaron Civale (7-4, 3.43 on the season but 2-2, 5.36 as a Ray)