I guess the Yankees had to have another losing streak at some point this season. The Blue Jays dropped the Bombers 7-1 in convincing fashion. It's the Yankees second straight loss; the Yankees haven't had a losing streak since the first week of the season when they were losers in three straight against the Rays (1) and Orioles (2). Here's how it happened tonight:
The Blue Jays offense is not strong right now, partly because it's not at full strength. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki aren't healthy, Jose Bautista has struggled, and Kendrys Morales has been an inadequate replacement for Edwin Encarnacion thus far. All that has resulted in an offense scoring 3.56 runs per game and a 79 wRC+ (27th in the majors). So, naturally, Ryan Goins, possessor of a career .222/.270/.325 batting line, burned the Yankees tonight.
In the second inning, shortstop Goins blasted a two-run home run against Yankees' starter Luis Severino. More on Sevy in a moment. In the sixth, with Toronto up 2-1, the Jays' shortstop came up with runners on second and third and nobody out. Goins was given the green light on a 3-0 count and hit a deep fly ball to center field. Jacoby Ellsbury flagged it down, but in the process collided with the wall and fell to the ground. In attempt to prevent a second run from scoring, Ellsbury flipped the ball to Aaron Judge but somehow overshot the six foot seven target. Considering that Devon Travis was on second, it might not have mattered if he got it to Judge anyway.
Goins ended the night 1-3 with 4 RBIs. It's frustrating to get beat by someone like him, but then again, a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.
After the Goins home run in the second, Severino walked Luke Maile. Ick. From there, though, Severino seemed to settle down. He retired nine straight batters before allowing a leadoff single in the fifth inning. That fifth frame was a struggle, as he allowed the first two runners aboard to start the frame. He worked out of trouble, but it seemed like the right-hander was near the end.
Perhaps with a fresher bullpen, Severino doesn't start the sixth inning or is pulled before any sign of danger. Here's what happened in the sixth: Justin Smoak lined a single off the leaping Greg Bird's glove and Devon Travis ripped a ground rule double to open the frame, but Joe Girardi stuck with his starter. That's when the Goins sac fly I previously described occurred, which made it 4-1 Toronto. Severino recorded one more out before the Toronto tacked on another run for good measure: a Chris Coghlan solo home run to make it 5-1. That was it for Severino.
Though Severino didn't run into trouble for a few innings, it was evident that he wasn't sharp this evening. His command was iffy and his secondary pitches were inconsistent. These kind of games happen. I'd guess that we'd be impressed with how Severino battled had he not thrown a sixth inning, but what can you do. Perhaps running out of energy in the sixth was a contributing factor, too. His final line: 5.2 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 2 home runs allowed.
Cessa's season debut
Bryan Mitchell was sent down prior to today's game and Luis Cessa took his place. The bullpen has been worn out over the past couple of days, and Cessa was slated to start for Scranton, so he was available to eat innings today, and eat he did. Cessa finished the game after entering with two outs in the sixth. The performance was nothing spectacular, as he allowed two runs on four hits, and a walk. He struck out one Blue Jay. The highlight of his performance was Jose Bautista's missile into the left field bleachers in the seventh. Though Cessa's performance was nothing special and he let the game go from 5-1 to 7-1, he did save the bullpen, so that's appreciated.
Cessa threw 55 pitches tonight and could be ticketed back to Scranton for a fresh arm. Odds are that Chad Green is in the Bronx tomorrow, as he is the Railriders scheduled starter tomorrow night and will be able to serve as a long reliever.
No answer for Estrada
The Yankees tallied seven hits against Marco Estrada over his seven innings of work, but only had one run to show for it. That's what happens when all seven of the hits are singles. Next time anyone tells you that too many home runs are bad, remind them how hard it is to score a bunch of runs on singles. Anyway, the lone run the Yankees scored was courtesy of an Aaron Judge RBI single in the fourth on a flare to right field. The Yankees had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, but only went 1-6 in those opportunities (the Judge single) against Estrada.
- Greg Bird went 0-4 and stranded 5 baserunners. It's been a horrific start for the Yankees' best player in Spring Training. Shows us what those Grapefruit League stats mean. He's down to a .100/.250/.200 (35 wRC+) batting line. Yikes.
- Chase Headley didn't play tonight. Just a day off. Ronald Torreyes got the nod in his place.
- Tomorrow: Another 7:05pm game. I don't know how Masahiro Tanaka could top his last outing in Boston, but he'll have a chance to build off his previous excellent start. Mat Latos will oppose him for Toronto.