Jays take a series for the first time in August
It looks like the Blue Jays may have turned a corner offensively as the Jays took two of three. Today's win, however, was due mainly to Escobar's offense Yankee poor defensive play. Combine that with timely Blue Jays pitching and a sub-par outing by CC Sabathia.
Not that the Jays didn't have some defensive gaffes of their own.
Also something to look forward to, perhaps was a repeat of the pitching duel between JA Happ and the opposing ace. Happ performed pretty much in step with Verlander last time out, and it would have been great to see Happ perform in step with the great CC Sabathia.
Happ did not start off well and it turns out he hurt himself at the bottom of the first inning running over to the bag to take a Lind throw on a Cano grounder. The Yankees opened the bottom of the 1st with two runs. The first run was due to an opening single to Jeter and a walk to Swisher. Cano's out moved Jeter and Swisher up, and Jones allowed Jeter to score with a single. A slow enough moving ground ball allowed Swisher to score on a double-play ball that was just not converted quickly enough. 2-0 after 1.
But CC didn't do well either. After Happ struck out the side in the 2nd, the Jays struck for three in the top of the third. The Jays loaded the bases with none out (Mathis single, Hechavarria reach on error, Rajai Davis single), but Mike McCoy hit into a double play to take out Hechavarria running to third followed by a tag out at home, leaving runners on 1st and 2nd with two out. Edwin then stroked a single to centre to score Rajai, Lind then singled home McCoy, and Escobar doubled home Encarnacion. Great job against Sabathia with two outs.
The Yankees struck for another two in the bottom of the 3rd on a Granderson double that should easily have been a caught ball had Rajai read the ball correctly. Granderson hit the ball fairly hard, but Rajai broke forward first, then started running backward. Rajai stretched but he was about a half step short. Two runs scored. 4-3 Yankees after 3.
Happ got himself out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth as Happ was stuck with 2nd and third with none out (walk, Ichiro double). He popped up Chris Steward, then walked Jeter intentionally, then struck out Swisher and Cano to wrap the inning. JA Happ did not pitch particularly well today, lasting only 5 innings. He threw 100 pitches, walked 5 and struck out 6. He was not effiicient with pitches and got into alot of trouble.
To the top of the sixth, where the Jays struck for two with a Lind single and an Escobar home run to left-center. 5-4 Jays after 6.
Delabar pitched 1 2/3rds and gave up two doubles but no runs scored. Aaron Loup came on with two out in the bottom of the 7th for a batter.
The Jays got an insurance run in the top of the 8th with a Yunel double, a Johnson single, and a Mathis safety squeeze to score Yunel without a throw.
The Yankees got one back against Brandon Lyon in the bottom of the 8th with a couple of doubles, but couldn't convert the tying run as Lyon got the three next hitters out.
The Jays then added some insurance for Casey Janssen as McCoy reached on a missed ball by Nix at third which allowed McCoy to get all the way to 2nd. Eppley then intentionally walked Edwin, and Clay Rapada came on against Adam Lind for the lefty-lefty matchup, but Lind walked. Joba Chamberlain then came into pitch against Escobar. Escobar then pulled a high inside fastball to right field, and Andrew Jones, who had already dropped one ball today, made a dive for another out, caught the ball, then it dribbled out of his glove, resulting in a double for Escobar and two runs scored. It's especially satisfying when none of the pitchers that Girardi puts in the game gets their desired goal.
Casey Janssen then got Swisher to ground out, mowed down Cano and got Jones to pop out to end the ball game.
Yunel is now boasting a seven game hitting streak and went 4-5 this afternoon with three doubles and a home run. Adam Lind went 2-4 with a walk. Kelly Johnson went 2-4. But Colby Rasmus went hitless for the 2nd game in a row (he did not start however against the left handed pitching CC Sabathia). Hechavarria is also running a 5 game hitting streak at 7-22.
Finally, a series win against the top-placed Yankees in Yankee stadium. The Blue Jays will enjoy their trip home with something positive as they open a home stand against Tampa tomorrow night. And why not? Two wins against the top team in baseball, and a great start by their once-ace, Ricky Romero. Despite the end of the road for Bautista this season, things are looking up. Where else could they be looking?