Saturday, July 7, 2018

Game #87 New York Yankees (56-29) @ Toronto Blue Jays (41-46) - game recap

Justin Smoak hit a three run HR as the Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 6-2

After an emotional 2 game split with the NY Mets, the Blue Jays had to put aside their emotions from Joey Bats return to Toronto and focus on the next task; defeating the Bronx bombers. The two teams have faced each other 10 times with NY winning 7 of the games. Tomorrow will be an important game for JA Happ, who potentially faces his teammates as the Yankees supposedly are front runners to trade for the Blue Jays ace. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight's pitching match-up featured a pair of starters who may or may not be in their respective team's rotations much longer. Sam Gaviglio could be making his second to last start as both Aaron Sanchez and Jaime Garcia could be ready to return shortly after the all-star break. Sonny Gray has been inconsistent in the rotation and could see his spot taken by a trade acquisition (Happ). Which starter prevailed tonight? Here is today's game recap.

Game highlights
  • Kevin Pillar made a fantastic leaping catch in the top of the second to rob Greg Bird of a double.
  • The Blue Jays opened  the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd as Devon Travis singled  home Randal Grichuk
  • The next batter,  Curtis Granderson, singled home Travis
  • Three batters later, Justin Smoak smacked a three-run blast to right-center scoring Granderson and Yangervis Solarte
  • The Yankees got one back in the top of the 3rd on an Aaron Hicks solo HR to center
  • Sonny Gray pitching line : 2IP 6H 5R (all earned) 2BB 4K 62 pitches (34 for strikes)
  • The Yankees got another one back in the top of the 5th as Hicks walked with the cases losses to force in Austin Romine.
  • Sam Gaviglio pitching line: 4.1IP 4H 2R (one earned) 3BB 6K 101 pitches (57 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th as Teoscar Hernandez doubles home Aledmys Diaz
  • Final score: Blue Jays 6 Yankees 2
My take
  • Neither starting pitcher had a very good game today. The Blue Jays got to Sonny Gray early and often today. They forced him to throw 26 pitches in the 1st inning alone and they left the bases loaded without scoring a run. They then scored 5 runs on 5 hits in the second capped off by a three run shot by Justin Smoak. Both Gray and Gaviglio were getting into a lot of deep counts today, driving up their respective pitch counts. Gaviglio was given more leeway to try and work through his troubles, perhaps in part because the bullpen has been used a lot lately.
  • The Yankees used 2 relievers to gets through the final 7 innings of today's game and the Blue Jays used 4 relievers over 4.2 innings. A a result, the Yankees essentially have a rested bullpen for the rest of the weekend. I think the Blue Jays could use Joe Biagini longer than they have been. Yes, it was a failed experiment starting him in a game. However, he was reasonably effective for the first 3 or 4 innings in those starts. He might not be available in the bullpen every day if he throws 50-60 pitches in a game. However, it would save a pitcher or two if he was able to eat up 3 or 4 innings. Hopefully with the anticipated trades this month, the Blue Jays are able to acquire a pitcher or two who is capable as a middle-long reliever because they cannot continue utilizing the bullpen in the manner that they are or else someone will get hurt or be less effective later in the season.
  • Every Blue Jay except Russell Martin has a hit today.
  • Up next, the weekend series continues with a battle of the aces: hard-throwing right-hander Luis Severino against lefty JA Happ (perhaps his final start in a Blue Jays uniform).