Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27: Blue Jays 8, Yankees 7

Colby Rasmus the hero, Jays only blow save once

Colby's 3 run home run in the top of the 9th
Kathy Kmonicek / AP

I love, absolutely love to see the Yankees lose.

There are lots of things going on with the Jays these days. The litany of injuries continue. Will Lawrie come back? What is the extent of Jose's new injury? How will Hechavarria play? Will Rasmus continue to strike out incessently? What about the rumours around Farrelll and the Red Sox?

Well there was a game to play, and with long man turned starter David Phelps in his third start in a row and the Jays riding a 7 game losing streak and Henderson Alvarez on the mound, things did not look good for the Jays tonight.

And it started off as a bit of a duel, with Cano's first two at bats and two runs being solo home runs. Adam Lind, in his first AB after rehab, also homered pretty much to the same place Cano did, to the bullpen just right of centerfield. Cano's second home run was to the short porch in right to open the bottom of the fourth. Then, the Yankees scored their third run off a deflection off of Henderson's foot that took him out of a game as the ball bounced into right field, scoring Teixiera from second who walked. On came Laffey.

With runners on 1st and third with one out, the Jays conceded a run on a Chavez fielder's choice. After four, it was 4-1 Yankees.

Onto the top of the fifth as a Torrealba hit a two run shot to the short porch (again, in rightfield) to score Johnson who walked to open the inning.

Then Laffey had a terrible bottom of the fifth, walking Jeter, then a Swisher HR (into the second row of stands in left), then got an out, walked, got an out, walked, and then got an out to end the inning. After 5, it was 6-3 Yankees.

Hechavarria got one back at the top of the seventh on a solid single on a low pitch down the third base line to score Torrealba who was on second from a fielder's choice by Moises. 6-4 after 7.

Laffey left the game at the end of the sixth with another injured leg off Jeter. Hopefully, he will be all right as will Alvarez, because the Jays six man rotation would be solved if one of these two got injured.

The Jays kept it clean in the 7th (Delabar / Loup) and 8th (Loup / Lincoln) as the Yankees threatened in the 8th with two out and a runner on third with Ichiro out, but Lincoln induced a ground ball to Escobar.

But going into the 9th inning with closer Soriano coming into the game facing Torrealba / Sierra / Hechavarria, things looked bleak. But Moises managed a base hit and Hechavarria did not hit into a game ending double play, but with two out, things still looked bleak. Rajai hit a single into left with Moises running on the pitch putting runners on first and third with two out and Colby Rasmus up. 

Colby's troubles have been well documented here. Since he injured his groin in Oakland, he's gone .123 over 57 at bats and has not recognized some pitches. However, he had no problem recognizing Robertson's hanging curveball, and did this, a three run home run to deep right centre. Welcome back, Colby, welcome back. And a very rare blown save by Soriano, who had not let in a run in 10 appearances and got seven saves in a row. This was his third blown save this year. And Colby Rasmus was the hero.

But the game wasn't over yet. On came Casey Janssen against Derek Jeter, who, on the 2nd pitch of the at bat, hit a deep fly ball that just went over the wall in deep right field. Cheap home run, but it tied the game. Blown save for Janssen, and Jays fans all over the nation probably sighed with despair.

But the Jays perservered, and the Jays caught a lucky break. Torrealba singled to open the 11th (after a clean 10th inning by Oliver), and Mike McCoy came on to pinch run. But Derek Lowe threw a ball into the legs of McCoy in a pickoff attempt and the ball went into right field, and McCoy advanced to third with none out. Sierra struck out, but Hechavarria hit a slow ground ball that froze McCoy off third. Nix threw out Hechavarria but McCoy went home on the throw to first and easily beat out the throw home. 8-7 Jays.

Oliver came on for a second inning of relief. He walked Ichiro with one out, but was forced out at second by a Jeter fielder's choice. Olvier then faced Swisher and got him into a full count before Oliver froze Swisher with a 75 mph slider for a called strike 3. Win for Oliver.

So, all in all, a very entertaining game. Torrealba went 3-5, and Rasmus, Lind, and Hechavarria went 2-5. It remains to be seen whether Rasmus will continue his slump-breaking behaviour.

Both Laffey and Alvarez are day-to-day and should be able to continue in their starting and relieving roles.

Tomorrow, it's Ricky Romero off his 2nd worst outing ever vs Phil Hughes.

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