According to Joe Girardi, the Yankees could only afford to lose seven games of their last thirty in order to be where they wanted to be. After tonight’s loss in Toronto, that number is down to six. A week ago, the Yankees looked poised to make a run as they finally had some fire power in the lineup. But after two losses in three games to the Tampa Bay Rays and the same result with the Toronto Blue Jays, the “Ay’s” have it. And this game was over rather quickly as the Blue Jays scored four runs in the first inning, another two in the second and a seventh run in the third. The Yankees managed only two runs on five hits and struck out thirteen times.
Hiroki Kuroda delivered his third straight poor performance and gave up seven runs, five earned on nine hits, a walk and a hit batter. He was not helped in the first inning when he struck out J.P. Arencibia on a fastball down the middle. The pathetic hitting, good fielding catcher, Chris Stewart, had the pitch clank off his glove (crossed up with a man on second?) and then threw wildly to first to try to get Arencibia and the play cost Kuroda and the Yankees two runs.
Meanwhile, the Yankees could do little with Todd Redmond (2-2) who struck out seven in his five and two-thirds innings, allowing only three hits and two runs. The only problem Redmond had was in the fourth inning when he walked Curtis Granderson and Alfonso Soriano to start the inning. Alex Rodriguez hit a single to drive in Granderson and Soriano took third. Mark Reynolds then hit a double that plated Soriano, but the combination of a slow A-Rod and a perfectly executed relay performed by the Blue Jays, caught A-Rod at home for the first out. That play seemed to take the steam out of the inning as Lyle Overbay popped out and Ichiro Suzuki grounded out.
The Yankees never threatened again and though Kuroda limited the damage after the third and three Yankee relievers held the Blue Jays the rest of the game, the Jays won easily, 7-2.
- Mark Reynolds played second base and handled all plays hit to him and went three for four. He was the only Yankee with more than one hit.
- Derek Jeter made a diving stop to his right in the first inning and threw out Edwin Encarnacion from his knees for a Web Gem-like play. Jeter also hit a double in his first at-bat but went without a hit the rest of the game.
- Joba Chamberlain pitched two scoreless innings.
- Kuroda allowing Encarnacion to hit an absolute bomb in the second inning with a man on.
- Stewart’s gaffe. A passed ball and an error on one play.
- Brett Gardner struck out twice on fastballs right down the middle.
- Gardner (2), Jeter (2), Soriano (3) and A-Rod (3) accounted for ten of the Yankees’ thirteen whiffs.
The Yankees will now travel home with an off day tomorrow and will begin a home series with the Orioles on Friday. The Blue Jays have an off day and start a home series against the Royals. The Yankees’ odds are not impossible. But they are getting more improbable by the day.