About Last Night: Blue Jays 7, Yankees 1
By Derek McAdam
September 20, 2023
The New York Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays last night by a score of 7-1, dropping their record to 76-75 on the season.
Quick Stats: W: Yusei Kikuchi (10-6): 5+ IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
L: Clarke Schmidt (9-9): 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
The Yankees struck out a total of 12 times last night, while the Blue Jays struck out only twice. With regards to walks, the Yankees walked once, while the Blue Jays walked three times.
The Big Story:
Following a series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates and an off-day on Monday, the Yankees returned to action last night to face off against their AL East opponent. Leading off the game, George Springer hit an opposite field home run to right field to give the Blue Jays a quick 1-0 lead. However, in the bottom of the inning, Gleyber Torres hit an RBI double to score Aaron Judge from first base and tie the game at 1-1.
In the 4th inning, with runners on the corners, Cavan Baggio singled to drive in a run for the Blue Jays, giving them a 2-1 lead. In the next inning, Bo Bichette hit a two-run home run, his 19th of the season, to give the Blue Jays a 4-1 lead. It just seemed not to be Clarke Schmidt's night. For the Yankees starter, his kryptonite continues to be the fact that he struggles his third time through the lineup. With regards to Kikuchi, he continued to pitch well against the Yankees, but was removed after suffering an injury to either his shoulder or neck.
In the 9th, Alejandro Kirk hit a two-run home run to extend the Blue Jays’ lead to 6-1. The Blue Jays got another run after Kevin Kiermaier scored on an Anthony Volpe error, extending the lead to 7-1. The Yankees were unable to capitalize in the bottom of the 9th, ultimately ending the game.
Player of the Game:
Bichette’s home run is ultimately what seemed to seal the victory for the Blue Jays, and he continues to hit the Yankees well.
Springer and Biggio both had multi-hit games for the Blue Jays, while Judge and Torres each had multi-hit games for the Yankees. The Blue Jays’ bullpen also came in and shut down the Yankee offense, allowing only two hits in four innings.
Better to Forget:
Giancarlo Stanton struck out twice and grounded into two double plays, including one that was the final play of the game. Stanton now has one hit in his last 22 at-bats and has seen his average drop to .190.
My Take: It was yet another game in which the Yankee offense struggled to score runs. It wasn’t a great feeling when Springer hit his leadoff home run, especially against the Yanks - a team that struggles to score runs. But the Yankees tied it up in the bottom of the inning. While Biggio’s RBI have the Blue Jays the lead, which would’ve ultimately been enough to win the game, it was Bichette’s home run that gave me that feeling of, “That’s a wrap.” It seemed as if the game was too far out of reach for the Yankees to come back from.
I am a huge fan of Schmidt, and I like how he has proven this season that he is certainly capable of being a Major League pitcher. But, like so many Yankee pitching prospects that the team brings up, he struggles with opposing lineups the third time through. Sure, analytics show that it is a common trend throughout the entire league, but Schmidt also struggles after 75 pitches. The Yankees certainly have to figure this situation out, because they cannot afford to have a pitcher in the rotation that cannot give them more than 75 pitches in a game.
With regards to the offense, it was another disappointing game in which the offense pretty much doesn’t give the team a chance to win. Stanton looks completely off at the plate, and it definitely showed last night and the 12 strikeouts continues to be an annoying statistic to see on the stat sheet. Not to mention that it was another game where the Yankees scored early, yet did absolutely nothing in the innings following.
Overall, this was a bad loss for the Yankees and one in which they’d definitely like to forget, because there aren’t too many positives to take away. They simply just have to move on to tonight’s game and attempt to force a rubber game that will take place tomorrow.
What’s Next?: The Yankees will return to action tonight for the second of three games against the Blue Jays. Kevin Gausman is set to start for the Blue Jays, while Michael King is set to go for the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST from Yankee Stadium.