Tagged: Rogers Centre

The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays 3-1 in the series finale as Beltran’s defense led to all of Toronto’s runs

Jacoby Ellsbury.

Jacoby Ellsbury.

The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays, 3-1, in the series finale at Rogers Centre. They are half a game ahead of the Blue Jays as a result of winning the previous two games in the series.

Luis Severino had his third quality start in a row to begin his career and could have had a better line if not for Carlos Beltran’s miscue. He allowed three earned runs on five hits and three walks in six innings while recording nine strikeouts. All of the runs that the Blue Jays scored came in the third inning.

Severino, who has a very good 3.18 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in his first three starts, retired Kevin Pillar and Ben Revere to start the third but Troy Tulowitzki hit a high fly ball that Beltran lost in the sun. Tulowitzki fly ball, which was originally ruled an error, was a double because Beltran was trying to defend himself against the sun and didn’t know where the ball was at the end. If Beltran wouldn’t have lost the ball in the sun then Severino might have pitched more than six innings and not allowed any runs.

“That’s as good of an arm as we’ve seen all year,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Good quick arm, and he’s a strike-thrower.”

After Beltran couldn’t see Tulowitzki’s fly ball, MVP candidate Josh Donaldson hit a single to score Tulowitzki and then Jose Bautista blasted a two-run homer to center. Severino knew after he released the pitch that it was not where he wanted it. “I knew right away it was high and would be a problem,” Severino said after the game.

“I think I’m doing pretty good and I’m working hard so I can do better,” Severino said.

The only run that the Yankees scored was a home run by Jacoby Ellsbury to the second deck above the Pizza Nova sign in right field in the sixth inning. The Yankees only had four hits during the game and Brian McCann’s double was their only extra-base hit besides Ellsbury’s homer. They struggled against Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison, and Beltran, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew combined to go 0-12.

However, the offense was better than the previous three games and the Yankees did exactly what they needed to do in winning the series against Toronto.

Severino allowed the three runs in the third on two hanging sliders. “Outstanding job by him,” Joe Girardi said. “I thought he pitched really well. I thought he gave us a great chance to win the game. It is impressive to watch what he has done. He does a good job in Cleveland after a three-game losing streak. He has rose to the occasion.”

The 21-year-old Severino still had not lost any of his velocity in the sixth inning as he struck out Justin Smoak on a 98 mph fastball for the second out of the frame. Also, eight of Severino’s strikeouts were on fastballs, which is impressive since the Blue Jays strength as a team is hitting the fastball. The reason that Severino has not picked up a win in any of his three starts is that the Yankees have scored a total of two runs in the 17 innings that he has thrown.

Girardi realized after the game that sometimes an offense will flat out not perform against another team’s pitcher.

“It’s baseball,” Girardi said. “We pitched really well, we were just not able to come up with enough runs. I thought we did a good job winning a tough series on the road.” The Yankees (64-52) are now 32-31 on the road and 32-21 at Yankee Stadium. They will start a 10-game homestand on Monday, which is what they want since they play much better at home.

A sweep was what the Yankees wanted, but they bounced back well after being swept by the Blue Jays last weekend, and it appears the race to win the division will be tight the rest of the season. The Yankees will play a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins, who have a 59-58 record and are in second place in the AL Central, and the Blue Jays have a day off before a two-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies, who have the worst record in baseball.

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The lineup for today’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays

Luis Severino with Double-A Trenton.

Luis Severino with Double-A Trenton.

After losing five consecutive games, the Yankees won their third consecutive game on Saturday. They were able to move 1.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East with their win on Saturday.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched his most important game in his two seasons with the Yankees as he pitched a complete game while only allowing one run on five hits. Tanaka had eight strikeouts and threw 112 pitches in the Yankees 4-1 win over Toronto. Tanaka was able to give the bullpen a much needed day off, which will mean that everybody will be available in the series finale.

Tanaka has proven in his last two starts that he is still capable of being the ace of the staff after struggling four starts. It appears that the Yankees will be able to rely on him in Game 1 of a postseason series.

“Just an unbelievable job by Masahiro,” manager Joe Girardi said. Tanaka added that he wanted to pitch deep into the game because he knew that Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller had thrown a lot of pitches recently. “My mindset was I wanted to go as deep into the game as possible,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I’m just really satisfied that I was able to do that.”

The Yankees scored four runs on nine hits including a solo homer by Carlos Beltran in the first and a solo blast by Mark Teixeira in the sixth. Teixeira had his second RBI of the game in the eighth inning as his single to center scored pinch-runner Chris Young. That was an important insurance run and this was Teixeira’s first multi RBI game since August 4. He had only one RBI since then.

Luis Severino will get his third start of the season for the Yankees and will look to help the Yankees sweep the Blue Jays. He has allowed three combined runs in his first two starts and has held the opposition to a .214 average. His slider, four-seam fastball and changeup have all been very effective, and he was able to rebound very well in his last start after struggling in the first two innings.

This is the lineup for today’s game against Toronto at Rogers Centre:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B

Mark Teixeira’s three RBIs helped the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday

Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira

The Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night. Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs and struck out four in 6.1 effective innings and Mark Teixeira drove in three of the five runs.

Teixeira hit a two-run homer to right to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury in the third to make the score 4-1. Then, in the seventh inning, he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Brett Gardner.

In his last seven games, Teixeira has a .222 average, but an impressive four runs scored, three homers and six RBIs. He has stepped up recently when not many of the other power hitters have. Teixeira leads the team with his 14 homers and 39 RBIs.

“Just trying to do damage,” Teixeira said. “We need runs right now. Any time I get a chance to drive in runs, I will take that opportunity.” In response to the importance of this win Teixeira said: “Hopefully this gives us confidence, enjoy the off day, and go get them on Friday.”

The Yankees are an MLB best 23-12 in games decided by two runs or less. They were able to win by two runs because Kuroda was able to rebound well from allowing a home run to Jose Reyes in the first inning while the bullpen did not allow a run in 2.2 innings.

Helping Kuroda was the outstanding diving catch that Gardner made in foul territory. The Blue Jays scored two in the fifth, but they would have scored more if Reyes’s ground rule double stayed in the park because Munenori Kawasaki would have scored. After this ground rule double, Melky Cabrera, who has a .351 average with four homers this season against his former team, hit a single to right to score Kawasaki and Reyes.

For the first run of the game for the Yankees, in the third inning, Kelly Johnson scored after Francisco Cervelli hit a double off of the wall. Johnson scored as a result of a hit and run play called by Girardi. With two outs in the inning Ellsbury hit a single up the middle that easily scored Cervelli. Including Teixeira’s homer, the Yankees were able to score three of their four runs in the fourth inning with two outs.

The Yankees scored four runs in six innings off of Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison. The Yankees offense has had a lot of success against the 23-year-old righty this season as he has a 9.22 ERA and 19 hits in three starts against the Yankees this season.

Ellsbury was caught stealing in the ninth inning after hitting a single off of Todd Redmond. It was his first time being caught stealing in his last 13 attempts.

“It’s good to leave here with one, it is not what you want, but it sure beats the alternative,” Girardi said.

David Robertson had a very impressive outing while giving the Yankees exactly what they needed. He was economical as he threw 22 pitches in his 1.2 innings. He recorded three strikeouts and no hits after not having pitched since June 18. He actually has a higher strikeout per 9 innings ratio than the impressive possible All-Star Dellin Betances, who was not available after throwing two innings in Tuesday’s loss.

Robertson picked up his 18th save of the season and lowered his ERA to 3.08. He has the fourth most saves in the American League, and Robertson is only four saves behind the Greg Holland’s 22 for most in the AL.

Girardi said that: “I knew I had Robertson for four or five outs and I chose to use him for five.”

With the win in the series finale, the Yankees now have a 40-37 record to move up to 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays. They will start a three-game series against the fourth-place Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

Whitley’s eight earned runs led to the third loss in a row for the Yankees

Chase Whitley pitching during spring training.

Chase Whitley pitching during spring training.

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.

Tanaka won his Yankees debut after striking out eight Blue Jays in seven innings

Tanaka catching a ball during spring training.

Tanaka catching a ball during spring training.

Masahiro Tanaka allowed three runs in the first two innings, which included a homer to the leadoff hitter, Melky Cabrera, but he rebounded to retire 16 of the last 18 batters that he faced in helping the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 7-3 on Friday night at the Rogers Centre.

This was Tanaka’s 100th professional win after winning 99 games with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. His first win for the Yankees helped even the Yankees record at 2-2 and win their second consecutive game. Tanaka only allowed two earned runs and was impressively able to record eight strikeouts while not walking anyone. Except for the first two innings, his splitter and slider, which are his out pitches, both worked very well for him.

Tanaka proved that he has a lot of poise since he was able to bounce back from his rocky start. He was probably nervous in the first two innings, but his ability to make adjustments should help him succeed against MLB hitters. The pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, said that, “I was not surprised by his tenacity and his composure at all.”

On the offensive side, the starting lineup looked a little different than normal because Derek Jeter received a scheduled day off because Saturday’s game is a day game and Joe Girardi wanted to give the veterans some rest to begin the season. Alfonso Soriano and Brian Roberts didn’t start the game because there was a lot of turbulence on the flight from Houston and they did not get to their hotel until about 6 a.m. However, Roberts ended up having to play second because Kelly Johnson would switch to play first base when Mark Teixeira had to leave the game as a result of straining his right hamstring going for a foul ball.

Not having Soriano or Jeter in the lineup or Teixeira for some of the game did not hurt their offensive production. The Yankees had 16 hits and Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Kelly Johnson, Ichiro Suzuki and Yangervis Solarte all had two or more hits.

Carlos Beltran got the scoring started as Colby Rasmus was not able to catch his shallow pop up in center, and Ellsbury ended up easily scoring. Later in the first, Johnson hit a single between first and second to load the bases. Teixeira’s single scored Gardner, but that at-bat by Teixeira would be his last one of the game.

In the third inning, Ichiro was called out at first on a play that he definitely appeared to be safe and Girardi smartly use the new challenge play. The umpires overturned the ruling, which allowed Solarte to have an at-bat in the inning. He continued his hot start to the season by hitting a deep double to the wall that scored Ichiro and Roberts. It is proving so far to be a great decision to choose Solarte over Eduardo Nunez.

Johnson, who had only played 18 innings at first before this game, made a great diving play to save a run in the third inning. Johnson will have to play first over the weekend and beyond because Teixeira, who only played in 15 games last season, has been placed on the 15-day DL as a result of the hamstring strain, according to the NY Daily News. The Yankees are losing a power hitting switch hitter in Teixeira.

The Yankees scored their fifth run on Brian McCann’s single to shallow left that scored Ellsbury. In this game Ellbury did what the Yankees acquired him to do as he stole two bases and scored three runs. Solarte’s double to deep center that scored Ichiro gave the Yankees an insurance run in the ninth.

Dean Anna, the 27-year-old rookie, recorded his first Major League hit in the ninth inning. The only negative for the Yankees besides Teixeira’s injury was that Dellin Betances did not show the same command of the strike zone that he did against the Houston Astros. The walk he allowed to Adam Lind forced Girardi to bring in David Robertson in a non save situation.

Michael Pineda will make his first start for the Yankees at 1:07 p.m. on Saturday after injuries derailed his 2012 and 2013 seasons.