It's been a long time since we've had a classic rain doubleheader, but the Yankees and Blue Jays kicked it old school last night and split the 2 half-games. Thanks to a dominant Michael Pineda and the rain, neither game was close.
The Yankees jumped out to an early lead in the pre-rain game on Didi Gregorius' 1st inning home run. Gary Sanchez tacked another one with a solo shot in the 2nd and then opened things up with a 3-run bomb in the 4th. He got hanging changeups from Marco Estrada in both at-bats and punished them. Those dingers were plenty of cushion for Pineda, who cruised through 5 scoreless innings allowing 4 hits and walking none. The skies opened between the top and bottom of the 5th and the Yankees had their pre-rain win.
After a 40+ minute delay, game 2 began. Joe went with Anthony Swarzak after the rain and that proved to be a wrong decision. After a ribbie single by Didi gave him a 1-0 lead and the Yankees a 6-0 aggregate lead, Swarzak started throwing HR Derby BP to the Blue Jay lineup. Troy Tulowitzki got him for a 2-run shot, Russell Martin for a solo job, and another run scored earlier in the 6th on a single and a throwing error to make it 4-1 Jays.
Swarzak out, Tyler Clippard in for the 7th and that went just fine. Then Adam Warren came on for the 8th and regression picked him up by the throat and chokeslammed him straight to hell. A 12-pitch leadoff walk by Josh Donaldson set the table and Edwin Encarnacion quickly cleared it with a 2-run shot. Later in the inning it was Martin hitting another 2-run shot to break the aggregate tie and put Toronto ahead 8-6.
For the sake of any young children who might be reading this recap, I'm not going to describe what happened once Chasen Shreve took the mound. But those who saw know it wasn't pretty. The Yankees were down big in the second game and their offense never woke up after the rain delay to help. They got completely shut down over the final 4 innings by Scott Feldman and friends.
- Shame about Pineda not being able to go longer. He really had his command last night and he was under 70 pitches after 5.
- Considering how good he was, how big the lead was, and how awfully the bullpen pitched to blow it all up, this has to be one of the worst losses of the year. That said, let's not try and pretend like we didn't all think this is what the bullpen was going to look like when Chapman and Miller got traded. Warren's fine and Clippard has done a nice job, but Betances is the only guy out there who's really worth something. And everything beyond those 3 is garbage.
- Seriously, there was already no reason for Anthony Swarzak to be on this team and there's no way he can or should still be on it today. I thought the Yankees should have just DFA'd him to clear the second roster spot last Saturday and kept Ben Heller up, but what do I know? I'm just a stupid blogger.
- Sanchez is a monster. Both of his home runs were legit, no wall scrapers, and both came on pitches where he recognized changeup, waited on it, and punished it. That's good stuff from a young hitter still in the process of getting his toes wet at the big league level. From what I've seen, there have been a lot of good ABs like that from him, Judge, and Austin.
- Didi with 2 hits and 2 ribs. He's definitely auditioning for a role as the #2 or #3 hitter next year.
- Ellsbury went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Down to .263/.326/.361 on the year. That dude stinks.