The Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 at the Rogers Centre on Monday. Chase Whitley‘s worst start of his career led to the third consecutive loss for the Yankees. Whitley, who had previously not allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts, allowed eight earned runs in only 3.1 innings.
Whitley allowed 11 hits, three walks and one homer to the dangerous Blue Jays lineup. He had uncharacteristic control issues since he had only four walks in his previous seven starts. After an RBI single by Adam Lind in the first, the Blue Jays scored six more runs in the second inning. The most damage off of Whitley came off of a three-run homer by Lind in the second that scored Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera. Before Lind, Cabrera hit an RBI single that scored Munenori Kawasaki. Whitley’s ERA rose from 2.56 to 4.07
It was expected that Whitley, who had only made 12 starts in his time in the minors before he was called up to fill in for CC Sabathia, would regress at some point, but it didn’t seem like he would allow eight runs in a start. He was not able to locate his pitches like in his previous starts.
“It was frustrating because it took the team out of a chance to win,” Whitley said. “It was just a poor performance, you know move on from there, but I didn’t execute like I wanted to. I couldn’t command the ball at all, like I have in the past. I couldn’t execute the pitches that I wanted to throw, and they are a good hitting club. They showed it last time and they showed it this time. It is just something I’ve got to improve on.”
Whitley faced the Blue Jays in his last start and had a much better outcome. He only allowed two runs and five hits in five innings on June 18 at Yankee Stadium. This proves that the Blue Jays were able to adjust much better to him than he was to their offense.
Marcus Stroman, a rookie from Long Island, who pitched against the Yankees last week at Yankee Stadium, pitched much better and lasted much longer than he did in his start last week. Stroman only lasted 3.2 innings on June 17, but held the Yankees to only one run in eight innings on Monday. The only run that the Yankees scored off of Stroman was Mark Teixeira’s 411-foot homer to center.
The Yankees scored two runs off of Chad Jenkins in the ninth inning. Yangervis Solarte, who was hitless in his previous 27 at-bats after starting the year as one of the team’s best hitters, came in as a pinch hitter and hit a single that scored Francisco Cervelli.
Another positive is that the bullpen did not allow a run in 4.2 innings pitched. David Huff, in a role that he was successful in last season, threw 3.2 one-hit innings. Shawn Kelley came in to pitch the ninth and struck out three and had his second consecutive solid outing after he allowed two runs against the Blue Jays last week.
The offense, which has scored three runs or less in their previous three games (all losses), will look to bounce back against Tuesday’s starter, Mark Buehrle. He is off to an outstanding start to the season with a 2.32 ERA, but he has struggled in his career against the Yankees. He had a 4.78 ERA against the Bronx Bombers from the 2011 to the 2013 season. The Yankees, who are now 5-5 in their last 10 games, are 2.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place.
David Phelps, who has won his last two games after allowing a combined two runs in those starts, will start his ninth game of the season. Tuesday’s middle game of the series will start at 7:07 p.m.
From the minors, first base/ right field / catcher prospect Peter O’Brien hit two homers in Monday’s game for the Trenton Thunder. Also, second base prospect Rob Refsnyder, who could get called up eventually to replace the struggling Brian Roberts, is hitting .311 in 45 at-bats since being promoted from Double-A Trenton.