Toronto hits three home runs against Phil Hughes, snaps Yankee win streak

The Yankees’ eight-game win streak came to an end today at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the long ball. Phil Hughes looked sharp in the early innings, but struggled to put hitters away with two strikes. In the first inning, after striking out Jose Bautista, Hughes gave up a two run home run to Vernon Wells on an 0-2 count. In the third inning he gave up another two run homer on an 0-2 count to Aaron Hill. It was 4-0 at that point, which would have made it more than enough to beat the Yankees today, but Toronto added three more runs for good measure, including a home run to John Buck, making it three on the day.

Brett Cecil was good but not great. He lasted 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on 102 pitches. Had Hughes been stronger that would have been enough to keep the Yankees in the game. Both young pitchers lasted at least six innings, but Hughes gave up a total of six runs over that time.… Click here to read the rest

Home Run Javy does his thing, but Marcus Thames and the bullpen beat the Toronto Extra Base Hits 7-5

The Yankees extended their win streak to an impressive eight games. Despite injuries to Nick Swisher, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees are the hottest team in baseball at just the right time. The best action happened in the 7th inning. Jose Bautista proved my long-held suspicion that he’s a jerk. He suffered a ‘roid rage break down and argued a called third strike vehemently in the top of the inning, and was deservedly ejected. The pitch was a ball, but Bautista responded to the call the way Jorge Posada did on Wednesday and was given the hook. In the bottom of the inning Marcus Thames hit a no-doubter off the Zales Diamond sign in the Yankee bullpen to break a 5-5 tie and give the good guys the lead. Mariano Rivera was Mariano Rivera in the 9th.

Javier Vazquez deserves to lose his rotation spot after today. He labored to get through 4.2 innings, ultimately allowing five runs to score.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks tag Morrow, top Toronto 7-3 for seventh straight victory

Brandon Morrow didn’t get to leave much of a lasting impression in his last start of the season, as the Yankees got to the flamethrower — who, surprisingly, seemed to be relying mostly on off-speed stuff yesterday — for five runs over a mere three innings en route to a 7-3 Yankee victory. The win was the team’s seventh straight, tied for their longest winning streak of the season.

Ivan Nova was serviceable — giving up three runs over 4 2/3 innings — but once again Joe Girardi wouldn’t let him pitch deep once the youngster ran into a bit of trouble, opting instead to go to the bullpen with two outs in the fifth and runners on 1st and 2nd. Nova had labored a bit, though he was only at 76 pitches when Girardi lifted him, and he probably could’ve completed the fifth. In any event, the bullpen continued its lights-out work, with Boone Logan, David Robertson, Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera combining for 4 1/3 shutout innings.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees vs. the Toronto Extra Base Hits V: The Wrath of Jose Bautista

Oh boy! The Yanks get to face the Toronto Annoyings of Annoyingville during the last official weekend of summer™ (though it obviously goes through September 21st, and oftentimes the weather stays pleasant even into October, many still consider Labor Day weekend the end of summer. Not me, though.) for the fifth of six times this season. Anyone else as tired as I am of the unbalanced schedule?

As we noted last week, in going 7-5 against the Bombers Toronto has beaten the Yankees more times than any other team has this season. That’s partially a function of having played the Yankees more than almost everyone else, but also due to the Blue Jays’ underrated and outstanding starting pitching and scary-powerful offense. Fortunately the Yankees will be at home this series, where they perform significantly better. The Yankees are going to end up throwing almost the exact same pitchers at the Jays as last week’s set, which means CC Sabathia still hasn’t pitched against Toronto this season.… Click here to read the rest

The ridiculously good starting pitching of the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays

As we’ve seen over 12 games thus far against the Blue Jays in which the Yankees have gone 5-7, this year’s Toronto team has some astoundingly good starting pitching. Which got me wondering, just how good has it been? As I reiterated in my game recap, it’s terrifying to think about the Jays’ rotation if they still had Roy Halladay, and I’d have to think it would be close to if not the best rotation in baseball. Check it out:

Roy Halladay: 6.4 WAR
Ricky Romero: 3.7 WAR
Brandon Morrow: 3.4 WAR
Shaun Marcum: 2.6 WAR
Brett Cecil: 2.2 WAR

I can’t imagine any other team in baseball has gotten anywhere close to the hypothetical 18.3 WAR that this five-man rotation might have accumulated. Of course, the Jays don’t have Halladay, and so if you swap Halladay out for, say, Marc Rzepczynski (0.0 WAR), the rotation looks a touch less imposing, with 11.9, though that’s still a very strong total, especially when you look at the rest of the AL East:

The Rays’ opening day rotation has accumulated 8.6 WAR:

David Price: 3.5
Matt Garza: 1.9
James Shields: 1.7
Jeff Niemann: 1.2
Wade Davis: 0.3

The Yankees’ opening day rotation has accumulated 8.4 WAR:

CC Sabathia: 3.7
A.J.Click here to read the rest

Jays continue to out-hit and out-pitch Bombers, beat Yanks 6-3

Raise your hand if you’re getting tired of losing to Toronto. I know I am. With a 6-3 victory, the Blue Jays have now beaten the Yankees seven times this year, more than every other team in baseball. Tampa Bay is second with six wins against New York. The Jays have won three of the four series the two teams have played in 2010, and I’m getting tired of being right in predicting series’ outcomes. I suppose the one thing you might be able to take away from the Jays’ dominance of the Yanks is that they incredibly haven’t had to face CC Sabathia one time in 12 games, and I’d have to imagine they wouldn’t have seven victories against the Yankees this year if that weren’t the case.

Regardless, the Jays have severely out-hit and out-pitched the Yankees this season, and watching these teams square off has become borderline torture. Phil Hughes stunk, throwing 3 2/3 innings of five-run ball and using 102 pitches to do so — a shame considering he shut Toronto down last time out.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks give Jays taste of own medicine in 11-5 rout

After being on the receiving end of Toronto home run after home run for a good portion of the 10 games the two teams had played thus far, the Yankees finally flexed a little muscle of their own, pumping five home runs on their way to an 11-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

Dustin Moseley was much better against Toronto this time around, throwing six innings and only giving up two runs (and no extra-base hits!) to a very dangerous Blue Jay lineup. Heck, Jose Bautista didn’t even hit any Jose Bautistas! Chad Gaudin gave up three runs of his own in two innings, but he could afford to given that the Yankees had jumped out to an 11-2 lead. And Kerry Wood continued to look very good, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts.

The Yankees unloaded on Mark Rzepczynski for six runs and Brian Tallet for five, and it felt great to finally give the Jays a taste of their own medicine.… Click here to read the rest

Jose Bautista hits two more Jose Bautistas, spoils Nova's debut start as Blue Jays beat Yanks 3-2

Do we really have to play this team eight more times?

Jose Bautista hit two more home runs — or Jose Bautistas, as they have now been rechristened by me — and drove in all three Jays runs as the Toronto Extra Base Hits once again beat the Yankees 3-2. Bautista now has a Major League-leading 40 home runs on the year, and six of those have come against the Yankees in 10 games. It might be time to just start intentionally walking this guy every at-bat for the remainder of the season.

Ivan Nova pitched admirably in his first career MLB start, throwing 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball, those two runs of course coming courtesy of a two-run Jose Bautista in the third inning. The Yankees actually led this game after a Robinson Cano RBI double in the first, and managed to tie it back up on a Jorge Posada double in the sixth, but that was about all the offense the Yankees could muster.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Blue Jays IV

The Yankees head to Canada to play the Toronto Extra Base Hits for the fourth of six times this season. I for one am not looking forward to this series at all. Toronto is 5-4 against the Yankees in 2010 and has basically blown the Yankees out of the water with a non-stop barrage of doubles and home runs in all of those wins except the 14-inning nailbiter on June 5. Additionally, despite moving everyone in the rotation back a day, the pitching match-ups don’t look great for the Yanks in this series, though they do mercifully miss 10th-most-valuable-pitcher-in-the-AL Ricky Romero. As an aside, despite Friday night’s drubbing, the Baltimore Orioles of Canada continue to roll over and die for Boston, and have now gone 4-11 against the Sox this season.

In the first game Ivan Nova (0.00 ERA; 2.43 FIP; 3.34 xFIP), who pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Yanks back in May, makes his first career Major League start against Brandon Morrow (4.45 ERA; 3.29 FIP; 3.80 xFIP).… Click here to read the rest