Sunday, September 22, 2019

Game #156 Toronto Blue Jays (63-93) @ New York Yankees (102-55) - game recap

Billy McKinney hit a pair of HR in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees

The Blue Jays wrapped up the road portion of the 2019 schedule this afternoon with a matinee against the Yankees. Today, the Blue Jays faced one of the premier pitchers in the MLB last season. Luis Severino went 19-8 in 2018 with a 3.39ERA in 32 starts. He's missed all of this season with rotator cuff inflammation and a subsequent oblique strain. Wilmer Font served as the opener for 14th time with Trent Thornton expected to follow and pitch the bulk of the innings. Thornton has had an up-and down season and is 5-9 with a 4.93ERA in 30 appearances (28 starts) heading into today's tilt. Billy McKinney got the start as leadoff man, becoming the 3rd different batter to bat leadoff in as many days as Bo Bichette continues to work his way through the MLB's concussion protocol. Vlad got the entire day off with Brandon Drury at the hot corner. Rowdy Tellez got the start at 1B and Reese McGuire was behind the plate. Justin Smoak got the half day off serving as the DH today. Could the Blue Jays ruin the final regular season game at Yankee Stadium this year and send the fans home unhappy? Here is today's game recap,

Game Highlights:
  • The Yankees opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as Aaron Judge smashed a solo bomb to dead center
  • Three batters later, Brett Gardner hammered a 3-run bomb to the second deck in right; also scoring Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Volt
  • Wilmer Font pitching line: 1IP 2H 4R (all earned) 2BB 1K 36 pitches (18 for strikes)
  • The Yankees added 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd as DJ LeMahieu smashed a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Austin Romine
  • The Yankees added a run in the bottom of the 5th on a sac fly by Stanton that scored LeMahieu
  • A batter later, Volt singled scoring Judge
  • Luis Severino pitching line: 5IP 3H 0R 0BB 9K 80 pitches (54 for strikes)
  • The Blue Jays got a pair back in the top of the 7th as Billy McKinney smashed a 2-run blast to right-center; also scoring Brandon Drury
  • The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as McKinney smashed a solo blast to dead center
  • Final score: Yankees 8 Blue Jays 3
My Take:
  • Even missing with missing a whole year, Luis Severino is still substantially superior to most of what the Blue Jays are throwing out there to get through 9 innings. Severino threw 5 innings of 3 hit ball, walking none and striking out 9, Wilmer Font and Trent Thornton combined to give up 8 runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. I'm not a fan of using an opener under pretty much any circumstances. To me, it speaks to a lack of confidence of the manager in his pitcher. Thornton was built up in spring training to pitch as a starter (90-100 pitches). Let him work through any early trouble and don't shy him away from the opponent's best hitters. Thornton has to be able to get them out right from the get go if he's going to be a starter in the future.
  • Billy McKinney (2-5, pair of HR), Randal Grichuk (2-3), Jonathan Davis (1-1), and Richard Urena (hit, walk) had good days at the plate
  • Up next, the Blue Jays open the final home stand of the season against the Orioles, who they swept at the beginning of this week. Clay Buchholz gets the start against Orioles righty Chandler Shepherd.