I’m almost positive the Yankees left their offense somewhere before they showed up at customs on the Canadian border. Also, their pitching. And some early game defense. Yeah, tonight’s game was one of those I’d rather forget. And I’m guessing a good portion of the Yankees join me in that sentiment.
Okay, so the nicest way to put this is that the Yankee pitchers weren’t exactly having a great day in tonight’s weekend opener against the Blue Jays. Bryan Mitchell got the start and actually didn’t do that terrible in the scheme of things. It just wasn’t great. In his 6 innings, Mitchell threw 93 pitches, gave up 6 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs (only 1 earned run), and struck out just 2 Toronto batters.
All of Mitchell’s trouble was in the beginning of the game. In the 1st, with 1 out, a runner reached on a defensive fielding error. But then with a single and walk (and the first of his 2 strikeouts), a single scored the first two runs for the Blue Jays. Then with 2 runners on base with singles in the 2nd, a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to scoring position. They didn’t need it because a walk loaded the bases. And then the most anticlimactic way to score a run — a walk scored a run. Then the defense remembered they were playing a game and got a double play to end the inning and the run-scoring under Mitchell tonight.
Another great defensive play made tonight was in the 4th inning. Mitchell found the runner at 1st lingering too far off the base and decided to catch him stealing. And they instituted a good old-fashioned rundown to get him out. I think these are my favorite random plays in baseball.
But that wasn’t the end of the game. In the 7th, Blake Parker came on and just could not get control of his outing from the start. He quickly put runners on the corners with singles. On a fly out and attempt to keep it from being a sacrifice fly, a missed catch error at home still managed to keep the runners on base, in scoring position now but on the bases. Parker intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases. But then the next batter doubled and scored 2 more runs for the Blue Jays. Another walk loaded the bases again, and a single scored 2 more runs.
Yeah, that spelled the end for Parker tonight. So it was on to James Pazos. A single loaded the bases again, but then the defense snapped back into action rapidly getting the next out, a grounder to the out at home. Pazos struck out the final batter in the messy 7th inning to end the Blue Jays advance. For the moment.
Ben Heller was called in for the 8th inning, giving up a lead-off double and then a 2-run home run to pad the Blue Jays gigantic lead, but refused to allow any further additional runs.
The Yankees offense was severely limited to the very first inning. With 2 outs, Sanchez hit a bouncing ground-rule double, and the Toronto starter loaded the bases with a couple of walks. But then a strikeout ended all that hope. And it would never get anywhere closer to that again. All 3 hours of the game.
Comparatively, the Yankee pitchers gave up 13 total hits and 6 walks to the Blue Jays’ allowed 3 hits and 3 walks. Those numbers add up to and explain the final score. It’s the kind of math I don’t like.
Final score: 9-0 Toronto.
Anyway, as I close the door on this game, I am reminded of this quote from Jane Austen: “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” Which means, my thoughts on this day will have very little to do with the actual game. I might remember other things about the game — the fact that they played, that rundown in the 4th, that the roof was closed, that Toronto is actually pretty nice in late September, that anytime the Yankees make the trip north of the border it makes me want to travel more, that I wonder if I can convince someone to fund a trip to see the World Baseball Classic this Spring at one of the many locations like Tokyo or Seoul or Los Angeles…
Yeah, so there was a game, and it wasn’t good for the Yankees. And my mind still wandered to baseball, so positive spin on the day, even when it didn’t seem possible. Because that’s life. Stuff happens out of your control every day, and some of it isn’t good. But it doesn’t give you leave to wallow in the miry circumstances. Find something to keep you going and then just keep going.