Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12: Yankees 7, Jays 10 (no, not 1)

It's the Rajai Davis show as Jays bats wake up

Not photoshopped - Rajai catches this.
 (Fred Thornhill / Reuters)
The Jays struck for 6 runs in the fourth inning as the Jays beat the Yankees in a 10-7 to salvage a game and put an end to a 5 game losing skid.

David Cooper started the scoring in the bottom of the first singling in a Edwin Encarnacion double for the game's first run.

In the fourth, Moises Sierra opened with a single to right, followed by a double by Jeff Mathis to score him. A Yan Gomes sacrifice moved Mathis to third, and Gose took an uncharacteristic walk. Rajai Davis then cleared the bases with a double to give the Jays a 4-0 lead. Mike McCoy, the veteran callup from AAA, singled home Rajai, and then Edwin homered to give the Jays a 7-0 lead through 4.

And JA Happ really came throough and faced the minimum batters through 4 and 1/3rd. A Casey McGehee double scored Andrus Jones to put the Yankees on the board.

Rajai Davis however stole the show again with a bases clearing double to score three (scoring Mathis, Gomes, and Hechavarria)

But JA Happ faced more problems in the top of the 6th as the long ball took over for the Yankees. A solo shot by Jeter followed by a two run no-doubt-about-it dinger from Cano put the Yankees at 10-4. On came Brad Lincoln. Up until the end of the 5th, it was a solid performance, and clearly I think JA Happ was running out of gas by the 6th, as he needs another start to stretch it out.

But there were more problems with Lincoln in the 7th. But it may have been alot worse for the Jays if it wasn't for the play of the year by Rajai Davis, who took a running grab up the wall and took away a definite home run ball by Casey McGehee. This ball is one that outfielders normally give up on. The fence at Rogers is 10 feet tall, and Rajai timed it perfectly to take a run at the wall and use his momentum to go over the wall to make an absolutely spectacular catch to save two runs.

But still, with two out and a runner on 2nd, the Yankees weren't done. Jayson Nix doubled to score Granderson. Derek Jeter doubled to score Jason Nix, and Swisher singled to score Jeter. The Yankees were within striking distance, now behind 10-7. On came Darren Oliver who looked shaky, giving up a double to Teixiera and hitting Robinson Cano (I think on purpose) to load the bases for Andrus Jones, who grounded the ball to a waiting Yan Gomes at 3rd.

Oliver was much stronger in the 8th, striking out the first two before an easy ground ball to Kelly Johnson, who pinch hit for Hechavarria in the 7th.

Janssen came on and closed it with two hard line drives to Johnson who was positioned perfectly followed by an easy fly ball from Nick Swisher to end the game.

Some observations about the game. First, it was good to see Mike McCoy back in Toronto. A utility infielder, he does know how to hit major league hitting and I think puts some stability in the offense over Hechavarria. David Cooper and Moises Sierra can hit. With Adam Lind coming back, Cooper will likely be sidelined put perhaps they will at least leave him on the bench. I hope that Moises (3 for 5 today) gets more playing time but one of Gose or Sierra will be sent down once Bautista is back in a couple of weeks (but they'll only be down for a week as they'll be called up for the September expansion). Anthony Gose is still getting fooled at the plate, striking out on 2 of his four plate appearances. And finally, Rajai is earning a steady look in left for the season as he showed a flash of brilliance in left (which makes up for losing the ball in the lights on Friday night and then some) and tied his personal record of 5 RBIs. Edwin had a 3 for 5 night, short the triple in the cycle. And finally, it was surprising to see Brad Lincoln get roughed up for three runs, his worst outing as a reliever this season.

Now, Alex Rios and the AL Central leading White Sox come to town for four. The Jays will face Jake Peavy (9-8 3.08 ERA), Jose Quintana (4-2, 2.78 ERA), Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.43 ERA), and Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.35 ERA) who got roughed up in the last outing. The Jays will throw Villanueva, Alvarez, Romero, and Laffey in return. Adam Lind may return to the lineup, and we will likely see Colby Rasmus later in the week along with Yunel Escobar. I'm thinking that the Jays are in rough for the first two but can win the last two in the series for a nice series split before Texas comes to town.

It's an unrelenting schedule for the Jays, but with the pressure off, perhaps the Jays can take their time in recovering its stars and get the Las Vegasers some more plate appearances.

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