You know the offense may be a problem if your catcher is batting three. I’ve honestly never seen that before, Buster Posey hits fifth (I think) for the Giants and he’s the best catcher I’ve ever seen play. As for the lineups Coghlan was at third today, with Goins at short, Devon Travis at second and Steve Pearce fielding at left. For the Yankees, it turned out that Ellsbury was injured from the Goins sac fly yesterday, so he was replaced by Aaron Hicks. The pitching matchup didn’t leave me very optimistic, with Mat Latos up against Masahiro Tanaka.
Pillar had a leadoff double to start, immediately giving the Jays a runner in scoring position. Following up, Joey Bats flew out to center, then Russell Martin struck out. With Morales at the plate and a shift in place, Pillar tried a strategic steal of third, Tanaka however hadn’t started his pitching motion yet, and threw to third to easily catch Pillar stealing.
Things looked bad early, with another leadoff double by Brett Gardner past Smoak on the first-base line. Chase Headley then put down the perfect bunt, a bunt base hit putting runners on first and third with no out. On a full count, Matt Holiday doubled, giving the Yankees at early 1-0 lead with runners at second and third with no outs. The Jays though then put the clamps of the Yankees offense. First Castro then lined it straight to Bautista, whose cannon arm kept Headley at third. Then the Jays got an unconventional DP, a chopper to Mat Latos was expertly fielded, getting the out at first, Holiday then got hung up, meaning Headley had to break for home, and he was tagged out by Martin. Despite everything, the Jays were only down 1-0 at the end of the first.
In the second, a pop-up by Morales and ground-out by Smoak was followed by a 2-out single by Steve Pearce. Goins though hit a slow roller along the first base line to end the inning, just beaten throw by the throw from the Yankees catcher Austin Romine.
Latos gave up a lead-off walk to Judge in the second, before Aaron Hicks clubbed one to deep right, it was a homer just from the crack of the bat. Carter then singled to left. After a strikeout, Gardner then homered to right. After a another strikeout, Matt Holiday doubled to the right field corner before Latos got another strike-out to end the inning. So thinking about it, does that mean he struck out the side?
Adding to the Mat Latos issues, as Pat said, Gibbons couldn’t take out Mat Latos, the back of the bullpen was exhausted, and this game was probably shot. So at the end of the day, Mat Latos was going to pitch 100 pitches, whether he wanted to or not.
At this point I began to make plans for the free hour or so I’d have today because I had no reason to continue watching. Of course though, like a masochist I persisted, watching yet another Blue Jays loss
The third saw another home run for the Yankees, 6-0 after three. The fourth saw Joey Bats robbed of a hit by a diving Aaron Judge catch, while on the defensive end, Latos conceded another home run, this time to Brett Gardner.
The Jays got some offense going in the 5th, Steve Pearce hitting a solo shot to left, then a 2-out double by Travis was cashed in by a single down the middle by Chris Coghlan. Pillar then smashed one right at Starlin Castro at second to end the inning, so it was good to see the Jays at least start to get after Tanaka. Latos got taken out for Dominic Leone for the bottom of the 5th, who came up with a 1-2-3 inning.
Joey Bats started the 6th with a double, however he ended up stranded at third. The Yankees scored another in the bottom of the 6th through a Headley single scoring Chris Carter.
Steve Pearce hit his second home run of the game in the top of the 7th, bringing the margin back down to five. Travis reached on a one-out single, which ended Tanaka’s night. Tyler Clippard came in, and after getting one out, and giving up a base hit and a walk, loaded the bases for Dillon Betances to clean up. Betances though allowed a run on a balk/wild pitch I’ll talk about at the end of this post. After Martin walked, Morales came up as the tying run, however he struck out looking to end our threat.
In the bottom of the 7th, Grilli came in to relieve Leone. He started by giving up a double then a 10-pitch walk. After fouling six balls off of Grilli, Aaron Judge hit his 12th home run of the year by smashing a breaking ball into the seats in deep left field. Grilli was replaced by Aaron Loup, Hicks followed the homer with an infield hit and after a deep out, Steve Pearce dropped a difficult catch, putting runners on first and second with one out and Brett Gardner coming to the plate I stopped watching.
The starters had wildly diverging outings, Latos lasted 4 innings, got pummelled for seven runs, conceded 10 hits including 4 home runs, gave up a walk and struck out five, while obviously being tagged with the loss. Tanaka meanwhile pitched six and a third, conceded 4 runs, he gave up 8 hits including the two solo shots and struck out four.
To conclude, I’ll talk about the Dillon Betances balk/wild pitch. That was weird, he pitched it about ten feet max. The ball just rolled and stopped, and Betances was clueless. A quick-thinking Travis was able to score and the runners advanced, but that play was just weird. Only in baseball can you always seem to see something you never saw before.