Yankees win third straight series; beat Toronto 7-3

Baseball go bye-bye.

For the first time in seemingly forever, the Yankees actually jumped all over a Lefty-They’ve-Never-Seen-Before™ in the form of Jo-Jo Reyes (who only lasted three innings and gave up five runs — now that’s more like it!) and never looked back, taking the rubber game against the Blue Jays 7-3 on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon.

Things started off promisingly in the 1st, as a Derek Jeter leadoff double was plated by a Curtis Granderson double (his first of two on the game — is this man on fire or what?), as the Yankees took a 1-0 lead before an out was recorded. They quickly added to the lead on an Andruw Jones two-run bomb in the second (driving in a Russell Martin bases-on-balls), and then grabbed two more in the third as Mark Teixeira blasted a two-run shot to left-field. Though that would be all they’d need, the Yankees added two more on Jones’ second two-run shot of the game.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks fashion dramatic late-inning comeback, beat Blue Jays 5-4 in second walk-off win of season

Tex likes pie. (photo c/o Getty)

If, after being stifled by Ricky Romero for seemingly the 80,000th time, you felt like the game was probably over for the Yankees after the Blue Jays’ ace departed with a 4-1 lead after seven strong frames, it’d be hard to disagree with that sentiment, considering the Yankees were 1-18 when trailing after the 8th inning in 2011 (h/t Kim Jones).

However, the Yankees apparently had other ideas. In the bottom of the eighth inning, a Curtis Granderson double, and a two-out Robinson Cano double followed by a Russell Martin (who also hit a solo home run in the second inning) RBI single plated two Yankee runs, bringing the team to within one. With Toronto closer Frank Francisco on the mound in the bottom of the ninth, a Jorge Posada one-out double was plated by a Curtis Granderson single — his fourth hit of the night! — tying the game (with Chris Dickerson pinch-running for Posada), and bringing Mark Teixeira to the plate with a chance for his first-ever regular season walk-off as a Yankee (Mark of course hit the walk-off home run against the Twins in Game 2 of the 2009 ALDS).… Click here to read the rest

Blue Jays thump Yanks 7-3

So that's where Bautista's beard went. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill)

Bartolo Colon got through the first five innings relatively unscathed (save a first-inning solo Jose Baustista, which happens) before giving up five runs in the sixth inning, which wound being plenty for the Blue Jays, who beat the Yankees 7-3 Monday night.

True to form, the Yankees couldn’t do much of anything against spot starter Carlos Villanueva, who they had previously only seen in two one-inning relief appearances, and so for all intents and purposes he was yet another scrubby-pitcher-the-Yankees-have-never-faced-before-and-were-subsequently-owned by. Villanueva only lasted five innings, but struck five men out and only gave up two hits and one run on a sac fly. Let’s have a round of applause for the offense, who needed to come up big against a guy they knew wouldn’t be in the game forever, and didn’t

On the bright side, the Yankees finally broke the Toronto bullpen’s scoreless streak against them with runs against Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch, but it wouldn’t be enough.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread and Series Preview: Yankees vs. Blue Jays III: Don't pitch to Jose Bautista

(photo c/o The AP

It’s no secret that Jose Bautista has, in seemingly record time, become the most feared hitter in baseball. What Bautista has accomplished thus far in 2011 this is insane — through a mere 38 games, Bautista has a .549(!) wOBA, which is comprised of a .353/.500(!)/.816(!!) triple slash (both his OBP and SLG lead MLB), and has already accumulated 4.3 fWAR.

ZiPS Update has him finishing the year at .292/.423/.649 (.459 wOBA), which, incredibly, seems almost conservative. Unless he falls off a cliff, Bautista seems like a near-lock to become the Majors’ first 10-fWAR player since both Barry Bonds and Adrian Beltre accomplished the feat in 2004.

All of which is to say, if someone is on base ahead of Jose Bautista, and the game is even remotely close, the Yankees shouldn’t even think about giving Bautista something to hit these next three days. As Mike Axisa found a few weeks back, the Yankees have been getting killed by the other team’s best player for much of the season, and you’d like to think they’ve learned their lesson.… Click here to read the rest

Even micro-er recap: Yanks hang on to beat Blue Jays 5-4

Sorry for another abbreviated weekend recap; we should be back up to regular speed on the weekends soon. Anyway…

A.J. Burnett closed out another solid April as a Yankee, throwing six innings of four-run ball in the Yankees’ 5-4 victory. He gave up nine hits but didn’t walk anyone, which is wonderful coming from Burnett. I saw the beginning of the game and thought A.J. looked great, but I gather began to tire around the sixth.
– In a shocking turn of events, Jose Baustista didn’t go yard.
Derek Jeter continued his descent into worthlessness, with an 0-3 day, though he did shockingly manage to lift a ball in the air for a sacrifice fly.
– Derek and Jorge Posada were the only Yankee starters without hits
– The Blue Jay bullpen continued to be as good as advertised.
– The Yankee bullpen also got its job done without any major hiccups.… Click here to read the rest

Microcap: Yanks drop a winnable one against Jays

This one’s gonna be bullet-point style, as I missed most last night’s 5-3 Yankee loss and have a variety of personal obligations to tend to:

Ricky Romero was his usual studly self, holding the Yankees to two runs over six innings, though he wasn’t very economical about it, needing 109 pitches to get through those six frames. According to the postgame, the Yankees blew a huge opportunity in the fifth, loading the bases with no outs, but Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez — the two guys you’d most want up in that situation — couldn’t get the job done.
– I caught Alex’s last two at-bats, and he looks totally uncomfortable at the plate. I’m not going to get on him for a mini-slump considering how great he’s been, but it’s crazy how quickly a player can go from locked in to lost.
Freddy Garcia was OK, but not great, giving up three runs over five, including a (surprise, surprise) home run to Jose Bautista.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread and Series Preview | Yankees vs. Blue Jays II: It's Lima Bautista Time

Note: Please use this post as your game thread for tonight.

The Yankees (14-8, 1st in the AL East) meet the Blue Jays (12-13, 3rd in ALE) for the second time in two weeks as Toronto comes to the Stadium for a three-game set this weekend. As regular readers know, Toronto emerged as one of my least-favorite teams to face last year, and true to form, the Extra-Base Hits are currently boasting a top-five offense in the American League (and really, it’s probably more like top-three, as I don’t know what the heck Cleveland and Kansas City are doing in that top five) — although much of that is being propped up by a hitting-out-of-his-mind Jose Bautista — though the starting pitching hasn’t been quite as excellent as it was last year thus far.

The teams split their two-game set last week in Toronto, though the Yankees probably should’ve won both. Much to my delight, the Yankees finally broke through against arch-nemesis Brett Cecil in the second game, which resulted in Cecil being demoted to AAA Las Vegas!… Click here to read the rest

Rivera blows first save of the season, Yankees lose in the 10th

I need to be careful when I boast. In yesterday´s open thread I pointed out Mariano Rivera´s incredible start to the season. In Tuesday night´s game the greatest reliever of all time allowed his first runs of the season, walked his first batter of the season and blew his first save of the season. We all know he´ll do these things every year. It´s just that there are moments when it genuinely seems as though Mo will go the entire year without giving up a run, or walking a batter.

A.J. Burnett was frustrating in this one, but kept the Yankees in the game. He allowed only three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings of work, but walked six on 105 pitches. He left in the sixth with the bases loaded and the Yankees clinging to a 4-3 lead that looked tenuous at best. David Robertson came on and did his Houdini routine to hold the lead. He struck out both batters he faced on eleven pitches, nine of them strikes.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees vs. Blue Jays I: Oh, it's you again

Jose Bautista circling the bases during one of the 300,000 home runs he hit against the Yankees in 2010 (photo c/o The Toronto Sun)

The Yankees head up to Toronto to face their most annoying foe of the 2010 season (for some people that distinction might go to Tampa Bay, but at least the Rays were a playoff-bound team last year). Toronto was one of only two teams — along with Tampa Bay —  to notch 10 wins against the Yankees last season, and their ridiculously annoying penchant for hitting two-baggers (27 doubles in 18 games) and home runs (33) against the Yankees last season led me to sardonically dub them The Toronto Extra-Base Hits. Combined with a slew of top-notch pitching performances — led by soft-tossing lefty Brett Cecil, who went 4-0 against the Yankees last season and led all of baseball with four wins against the Bombers in 2010 — the Jays wound up being a pain in the neck each and every time the Yankees faced them.… Click here to read the rest