top of page
  • Writer's pictureEthan Semendinger

About Last Night: Yankees 4, Blue Jays 2

That was one crazy series. This morning, Ethan shares his thoughts about it all while highlighting last nights big win!


Quick Stats -

  • Winning Pitcher: Nestor Cortes Jr. (4-2, 5.21 ERA)

  • Losing Pitcher: Jose Berrios (3-4, 4.61 ERA)

  • Save: Ron Marinaccio (1)

  • Home Runs (New York): Aaron Judge (12), Anthony Volpe (7)

  • Home Runs (Toronto): Bo Bichette (9)


Big Story - Going into last nights game, this road series for the New York Yankees up to play the Toronto Blue Jays was full of stories. Over the 4 games there were accusations of cheating, a suspension due to cheating, lots of yelling about third base coaches, many Aaron Judge home runs, and a few injuries. To touch on all of it in depth would take me way past the 6:00 AM deadline for this post to go live, but I will discuss some of it- in short- to set-up the feelings going into this 4th game.

On Monday, during the first game of this road series, Aaron Judge hit this home run. It was an absolute blast that went 462 feet and was his second home run of the game. He also briefly looked away from the pitcher during the pitch beforehand, and it became the biggest story in sports for two reasons. The first is that Aaron Judge is the face of the most notable sporting franchise in the world, based in the hottest media market in the world, who just set a home run record last season, and he was the one who was involved. The second is that the Blue Jays immediately took the most extreme angle about this moment in time and accused him of cheating.

After the game Aaron Judge said to the media that he was trying to signal to his teammates to stop yelling at the umpire. Aaron Boone corroborated this story in his postgame conference, after it was his ejection defending Judge after a bad called strike low in the zone that had the Yankees players riled up. It didn't take long for people to realize this was a cover for them having figured out the Blue Jays pitchers "tell" for what pitch was coming. All Aaron Judge had done was look to the Yankees first base coach, Travis Chapman, for a signal. There's nothing illegal about finding a pitcher tipping his pitches and having coaches relay this information to the team- even while they are actively at bat. (Though there is if they are using illegal technology to do so, but that's a different story.) And because they knew the pitchers tell, why would they admit it afterwards? Aaron Judge came up with a decent enough lie to keep the Blue Jays from recognizing what the Yankees had figured out. It's all legal and it's part of the game. To make anything of it was a joke. (More on this later.)

On Tuesday, and going into the second game, the Blue Jays made a big stink about it. Their television announcers mentioned how the team should purposefully throw at Aaron Judge (and maybe even insinuated it should be at his head?). On top of this, they started bickering and trying to dictate where the Yankees first and third base coaches should be standing as it was them relaying signs. While there is a box painted on the field, it has never been adhered to. And, hypocritically the inning after the Blue Jays made a big stink about where third base coach Luis Rojas was standing, their third base coach was even further away from the "ever-so-important" box. It was a bad look.

Arguably, however, an even worse look was when Domingo German got ejected out of the game and suspended for 10 games for having overly sticky hands. The rule that dictates this is asinine and up to much interpretation as rosin is an allowed substance, but not if there is too much rosin, to which there is no standardized unit determined. It's entirely subjective and the rule needs to be fixed. That being said, this was German's second run-in with sticky stuff this season- with this same umpire crew!- and it is on him to not break the rules the game has put forth. While I may disagree with a rule, it is not appropriate for me to break the rule, but instead I should look to get it changed while following it. Domingo German did not follow that same line of thinking. Meanwhile, Aaron Judge hit a home run in that game too.

In the 3rd game the Yankees got shut-out. That's all I'll talk about from Wednesday.

And now here we are. Thursday night in Toronto, and this was the line-up going into the 4th game:


Player(s) of the Game - One offensive, One pitcher:

  • Nestor Cortes Jr.: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K's (Win)

  • Aaron Judge: 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI's, 1 K

Notable Performances - A few other good performances with the bats and arms:

  • Anthony Volpe: 1-2, HR, R, RBI, BB, HBP, K

  • Aaron Hicks: 3-4, 2B, RBI, K

  • Gleyber Torres: 2-5, R

  • Oswaldo Cabrera: 1-4, 2B, R

  • Ryan Weber: 1.0 IP, H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K's

  • Albert Abreu: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's

  • Ron Marincaccio: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K's (Save)

Better to Forget - And (more than) a few hitless players

  • Anthony Rizzo: 0-4, 2 K's

  • Kyle Higashioka: 0-4, 2 K's

  • DJ LeMahieu: 0-4, K

  • Harrison Bader: 0-4, K


My Take - What a series.

It was Aaron Judge who got the ball rolling with another towering home run to score 2 runs in the first inning last night. The Blue Jays did quickly respond via Bo Bichette who hit a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning before both teams were shut down scoreless. through the next 5 innings.

In the 7th, the Yankees scored their 3 run of the night via an Aaron Hicks (?!) single, to which the Blue Jays again responded with a sacrifice fly. In the 8th inning, Anthony Volpe hit a screaming home run over the left field wall to give the Yankees an insurance run. Luckily, the Yankees bullpen allowed just 1 run (inherited from Cortes in the 7th) the rest of the way to get the Yankees a 3rd win against the Blue Jays in 4 nights.

Aaron Judge absolutely popped off by going 6-14 with 4 Home Runs and a Double along with 7 RBI's, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts, and a stolen base. If the Yankees are going to be hot, it will require Aaron Judge to be leading the team. (The game they lost is when Aaron Judge went hitless.) That's a tall task to be asked of a single player in a sport that is so dependent on a full team dynamic, but it's a necessary order of business for a captain of the New York Yankees. So far, Judge has been doing very well and it appears he's making up for lost time due to injury from the end of April into the early parts of May.

As a baseball fan, I also lost a lot of respect for the Blue Jays this week. They were incredibly quick to start making wild accusations and attempts to enforce rules that have been ignored for decades...all while playing one of the games most notorious recent cheaters (George Springer) and ignoring their own standards. Thankfully it appeared that Don Mattingly was not heavily involved in any of the theatrics from the Blue Jays bench, but as a whole it was embarrassing to watch.

Especially when during this same series, in the midst of all the manufactured drama about Aaron Judge's cheating, the Blue Jays pitcher- Jay Jackson- admitted that he was tipping his pitches! It really was much ado about nothing. I mean, let's think about this for a minute.

Jay Jackson has a career 4.15 ERA over 60.2 innings in the MLB across 5 seasons (2015, 2019, 2021-23). The Toronto Blue Jays are his 5th franchise to play in the MLB with and after the game he was demoted back to their Triple-A team. During the supposed "cheating" at-bat, the Yankees were winning 6-0 in the top of the 8th inning. Aaron Judge also set the new American League record for home runs in a season with 62 last year. He wasn't accused of cheating for any of those home runs, so why would he cheat- blatantly- against a journeyman reliever, in a game all but already won, in the middle of May? It is so absurdly ridiculous when you think about it. Like I said, I'd be incredibly embarrassed if that was my team making those wild claims.

All-in-all, it was nice to watch the Yankees take 3 of 4 against them this week.

Also, to touch on it quickly: the Yankees lost 3 players this series. This includes the aforementioned Domingo German for a 10-day suspension (with no freeing up of his 26-man roster spot). Additionally, Ian Hamilton went down with injury (right groin strain, 15-Day IL) after Tuesday night's game while in relief of Domingo German. Nick Ramirez has taken his spot on the roster. Furthermore, Jose Trevino was sent to the IL ahead of last night's game (left hamstring strain; 10-Day IL). Ben Rortvedt has taken his spot on the roster.


Next Up - The Yankees are on to Cincinnati to play against the Reds for a 3-game weekend series starting tomorrow at 6:40 PM. This whole series has funky game times with Saturday coming at 4:10 PM and then Sunday being an early morning matinee at 11:35 AM. For Friday's game, the Yankees will be sending Clarke Schmidt (1-4, 6.30 ERA) to the mound against Ben Lively (1-1, 1.69 ERA). Schmidt is looking to correct ship after his last appearance saw 7 earned runs score on him in 4.2 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. Lively will be starting his first game this season (and first since 2018 with the Philadelphia Phillies) after 2 other appearances totaling 5.2 innings so far in 2023.


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman

The message here is that even a hobbled Yankees team is better than Toronto. They are also even or slightly behind Tampa Bay. I'm looking forward to the series next week against the resurgent Orioles. It would be nice to see them convincingly pluck another Divisional Bird.


them Yankees is downright plucky


Philip Cashier
Philip Cashier

Volpe with a screaming HR -- damn, I missed that on StatCast.



all the garbage about Judge that came out of Monday's game

might have been pushed out by the Jays in hope of deflecting attention away

from the really significant story of that game

the Jays big hairy. starter again pitched like Manoah

seems that it's better for Toronto to pretend that the reason for his lousy performance

might be something unfair and irregular

and not something internal, something that has the potential to leave the Jays in a fight for 4th place in the East

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman

So the fault lies not in others' stars, but in themselves?

dr sem.png

Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)


Have a question for the Weekly Mailbag?

Click below or e-mail:

SSTN is proudly affiliated with Wilson Sporting Goods! Check out our press release here, and support us by using the affiliate links below:

Scattering the Ashes.jpeg

"Scattering The Ashes has all the feels. Paul Russell Semendinger's debut novel taps into every emotion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll reexamine those relationships that give your life meaning." — Don Burke, writer at The New York Post

The Least Among Them.png

"This charming and meticulously researched book will remind you of baseball’s power to change and enrich lives far beyond the diamond."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man, Opening Day, and Ali: A Life

From Compton to the Bronx.jpg

"A young man from Compton rises to the highest levels of baseball greatness.

Considered one of the classiest baseball players ever, this is Roy White's story, but it's also the story of a unique period in baseball history when the Yankees fell from grace and regained glory and the country dealt with societal changes in many ways."


We are excited to announce our new sponsorship with FOCO for all officially licensed goods!

FOCO Featured:
carlos rodon bobblehead foco.jpg
bottom of page