Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: New York Yankees 7, Toronto Blue Jays 5

Toronto squandered a close lead and lost the finale of the series. This was a heated battle and the Blue Jays came up short.

NY Yankees




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 7 11 1
Toronto 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 6 2

W: A. Warren 4-2
L: J. Grilli 6-4
S: T. Layne 2-1

The Starter


J. Happ

20-4 | 7.1 IP | 2 (1) | 6 H | 1 BB | 2 K |
96 PC, B: 32, S: 64 | 3.20 ERA

Coming off a start against Seattle last Tuesday where he picked up his 20th win of the year, Happ was looking to ride his success into the series finale against the Yankees.

A bit of a rough start in the first when Brett Gardner hit a small chopper that Russell Martin and J.A. Happ stared at too long. This resulted in a late throw to first by Martin which sailed past Encarnation (error) and Gardner went to 3rd base. Gardner ended up scoring in the inning but it was the only mistake for Happ in the 1st.

The benches cleared for both clubs after Happ started the inning throwing a pitch behind the legs of Chase Headley and with next pitch he hit him. That prompted a warning from the umpires and C.C. Sabathia led the charge for the Yankees out of the dugout. Presumably, it was retaliation for Luis Severino hitting Josh Donaldson in the first inning. Luckily Happ needed just 6 pitches to retire the next 3 Yankees batters to end the 2nd inning.

The 3rd inning should have been an easy one for Happ until an infield single and a walk with two outs drove up his pitch count. He had thrown 45 pitches through 3.0 innings with two hits, no strikeouts and a walk. Happ easily got through the 4th, 5th and 6th innings, giving up another hit and picking up a strikeout.

Chase Headley led off the 7th inning with a hard single to left field which got the Blue Jays bullpen active. Happ was able to get the next 3 batters, however, and had some more left in the tank with only 85 pitches through 7.0 innings.

Brett Gardner was pesky all night for Happ, and in the 8th continued with a one-out double to right field. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a single to centre that Pillar bobbled. The result was a run scored, Ellsbury on second base and the end of the day for Happ.

Happ had another quality start tonight. Going 7.1 innings was huge for the team since it gave most of the bullpen a much needed rest. He continues to put together great start after great start and is clearly the ace of the staff approaching the playoffs.

The Hitting

D. Travis 0-3 0 0 0 1 0-0-0 0 .299 .331 .447
D. Barney 0-1 0 0 1 0 0-0-0 0 .268 .322 .373
J. Donaldson 0-3 1 0 1 0 0-0-0 0 .284 .403 .551
E. Encarnación 1-3 0 1 2 0 0-0-0 0 .269 .361 .542
D. Pompey 0-0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .000 .000 .000
J. Bautista 1-3 1 0 1 0 0-0-0 0 .238 .366 .458
E. Carrera 0-0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .242 .323 .347
D. Navarro 1-1 0 1 0 0 0-0-0 0 .209 .267 .325
D. Ceciliani 0-0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .111 .172 .185
R. Martin 0-3 1 1 2 2 0-0-0 0 .234 .336 .409
T. Tulowitzki 1-5 0 1 0 1 1-0-0 0 .251 .313 .439
M. Saunders 1-4 0 1 0 2 0-0-0 0 .256 .339 .485
M. Upton Jr. 0-0 0 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .199 .266 .326
J. Smoak 0-2 1 0 1 0 0-0-0 0 .221 .318 .398
K. Pillar 1-4 1 0 0 0 0-0-0 0 .266 .302 .377

Toronto came out offensively ready in the 1st inning tonight. Josh Donaldson was hit by a pitch and Edwin Encarnation followed him with a single to put Josh into scoring position at third. Baustisa drew a walk to load the bases with one out for Russell Martin. Martin showed excellent patience at the plate and drew an RBI walk to tie the game at 1-1. That’s all the Blue Jays would manage, as a fly ball out by Tulowitzki and a strikeout by Saunders would strand 3 runners.

The fireworks continued from the top to the bottom of the 2nd inning when Severino hit Justin Smoak which caused the second bench-clearing of the game. This one was more heated with some punches and pushing going on. Severino was ejected, so the Toronto hitting would be going against the Yankees bullpen for the remainder of the game.

A single by Jose Bautista and a walk from Martin put two with one out in the 3rd. Tulowitzki hit a long double to centre field that put the Blue Jays into the lead. The hit also kept the pitcher train going for the Yankees who were set to use everyone they had in the bullpen tonight. Michael Saunders hit a flare single into right field which added another run for Toronto in the bottom of the third.

A familiar occurrence for Toronto is the bats going to sleep, and that’s what happened today from the 3rd inning onto the 9th.

Facing a 4 run deficit in the 9th inning, Toronto started the inning off the right way. Smoak took a four-pitch walk and Kevin Pillar bunted a single. A wild pitch by Dellin Betances advanced the runners to second and third with no outs. The bases were loaded for Josh Donaldson after Darwin Barney took a walk. Donaldson was unable to cash in a run when hit a shallow fly ball for the first out. Yankees pitcher Tommy Layne walked in a run during a long at-bat with Encarnation. Bases still loaded with one out for Dioner Navarro who blooped a single to centre field to score another run for Toronto to bring them within two. After a force-out at the plate, Troy Tulowitzki was up with two outs and the bases loaded. Troy dug a ball out of the dirt and hit a fly-ball that was caught in foul territory.

Toronto should have blown this game wide open earlier in the game, especially since they were facing various relievers for the bulk of the game. You have to applaud the late-game heroic comeback attempt, but a little more of that earlier might have been more successful.

The Bullpen

J. Biagini (4-2) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 5 (1-4) 2.83
B. Cecil (1-7) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 2 (1-1) 3.89
J. Grilli (L, 6-4) 0.1 4 4 4 0 0 16 (6-10) 3.32
D. Barnes (0-0) 0.2 1 1 1 1 1 15 (8-7) 3.95

Joe Biagini came into the 8th inning with one out and Ellsbury on second base. He was tasked with retiring Gary Sanchez and that’s what he did. He was removed in favour of Brett Cecil to face Brian McCann. Cecil made quick work of McCann who grounded out to shortstop.
Jason Grilli got the ball as the closer today with Roberto Osuna unavailable. After getting Headley to ground out to first, Grilli faced Mark Texiera who tied the game with a solo shot to right field. Grilli gave up another hit as Didi Gregorius singled to left. The next batter Aaron Hicks drilled the ball to right field and out of the yard to give the Yankees a two-run lead. The hits kept coming against Grilli when the last batter he would face, Donovan Solano doubled to left field.

Danny Barnes came in to try to stop the bleeding in the 9th inning. He walked Gardner before Ellsbury singled to right to score another run for New York. An excellent play by Pillar in centre limited a fly ball by Sanchez to a sacrifice instead of a double. Barnes ended the inning with a strikeout but New York had a 4 run lead.

The bullpen was forgettable today. Things like this happen, but with Happ in line for his 21st win and the Blue Jays in a tight wild-card race, the timing was not good.

Notable Hitters

D. Travis

0-3 | 0 BB | 0 R | 0 2B | 0 3B | 0 HR | 1 K | 0 SB | AVG: .299, OBP: .331, Slug: .447

Left the game after looking uncomfortable at the plate. Swung wildly and may have hurt himself. Also may have been hurt in the ruckus earlier in the game because he was in the thick of things.

Note: Joaquin Benoit must have gotten his foot stomped in the second melee of the day. He was seen limping off the field and left the game. We will await the diagnosis but hopefully it’s not serious.

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