About Last Night: Jays Win... Stay Alive
by Paul Semendinger
September 27, 2022
About Last Night :
It is just a matter of time before the Yankees clinch the American League East. It could happen as early as tonight, it might be tomorrow, it will certainly be soon, but it wasn't last night.
It seems all but certain that Aaron Judge will hit home run #61 to tie Roger Maris. It could happen tonight, it might be tomorrow, but it also wasn't last night.
Last night, the Yankees jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead over the Blue Jays. They scored one run in the first inning (Aaron Judge singled, Anthony Rizzo doubled, and Gleyber Torres hit a sacrifice fly), and one run in the second inning (Isiah Kiner-Falefa homered). The problem was that the Yankees didn't score again.
Luis Severino pitched three great innings, but got himself in trouble in the fourth inning. The Blue Jays loaded the based with no outs, and to his credit, Severino pitched out of that jam allowing just a two-run double that tied the game instead of seeing the Yankees falling behind. Of course, baseball, this wonderful game, is a game of inches. Teoscar Hernandez of the Blue Jays missed a grand slam by a matter of inches (settling for a two-run double) before Severino worked out of trouble.
The scored stayed at 2-2 through nine innings. In the top of the 10th, the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs... well, said properly, the Jays loaded the bases for the Yankees by intentionally walking Aaron Judge, but the Yankees failed to score. In the bottom of that frame, Vlad Guerrero Jr. singled home the ghost runner (why does Major League Baseball still use backyard Wiffle Ball rules?) to win the game for the Jays. Quick Stats:
After hitting .180 in August, Gleyber Torres is batting .317 in September
Clarke Schmidt faced three batters, retired the first two, gave up a single, and got tagged with the loss (because of the ghost runner)
The Yankees failed to score their ghost runner.
The Rays' ghost runner was 1-for-1 in scoring attempts (as measured by innings)
Before turning to Schmidt, the Yankees' bullpen threw five scoreless frames.
Aaron Judge (.314) still leads the A.L. in Triple Crown stats
The Yankees had only six hits, Anthony Rizzo had two of them
The Big Story:
Besides the eventual clinching and the eventual home run record, the big story for me is the fact that the Yankees, while they're winning, a lot, are having some trouble putting teams away. Granted, they're in the position to experiment, and they especially need to see which relievers project to be the best in the playoffs, and such, but they have been involved in a bunch of close games of late. Each of the games against the Red Sox were decided by one or two runs, as was the game last night. This should probably be called "The Little Story," because it is probably nothing, but it is something to keep an eye on. From ESPN, "New York lost a game decided in the final at-bat for the MLB-leading 11th time." (That's not nothing.)
Player of the Game:
Jonathan Loaisiga pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Better to Forget:
Even when they are winning, the Yankees' offense goes missing for long stretches of time. It's been that way all year and it is a concern I have for the Yankees in the post season.
The Yankees play tonight at 7:00 p.m. Jameson Taillon takes the mound for the Yankees.