About Yesterday Afternoon: Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3
The Yankees got little rest between Tuesday night's walk-off heroics from Aaron Judge and Wednesday afternoon's contest. While they looked a little rusty at times, the Bronx Bombers showed why they continue to own the best record in baseball and managed to sweep the Blue Jays with a 5-3 victory.
Quick Stats - Jameson Taillon got the win and is now 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Toronto pitcher José Berríos took the loss, while Aroldis Chapman made the game far too exciting and was probably just a few feet away from blowing the save. Gleyber Torres was responsible for all five New York runs, hitting his way out of a bit of a slump.
Big Story - I'll be frank, watching Taillon in the first inning had me worried we were in for a long game. He struggled mightily with his control, walking George Springer, giving up a single to Bo Bichette, and then hitting Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. before recording the first out. Springer scored on a force at second, but Taillon managed to strike out Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. and got Alejandro Kirk to pop out, escaping the inning down just 1-0.
Taillon seemed to find his stuff after that shaky first inning. He had a 1-2-3 second inning and went 5.1 innings with four Ks, one walk, one HBP, six hits, and two runs. Given how he started, I'd say that was a successful outing.
Player(s) of the Game - Gleyber Torres went 2-4 with five RBIs and a run scored. He hit his fifth homer of the season, putting the Yankees in the lead in the fourth. He seemed to struggle to get the ball out of his glove in the first inning, failing to complete a double play, but it turned out to be irrelevant.
Notable Performances - DJ LeMahieu went 2-4 with two runs scored and a double.
Michael King continues to be a key contributor out of the bullpen. He gave up a pair of hits and struck out a batter.
Clay Holmes threw 1.2 innings and struck out one. He did not allow a hit.
Anthony Rizzo went 1-3 with two runs scored and a walk.
Better to Forget - Isaiah Kiner-Falefa had a rough day. He went 0-3 with a strikeout and stranded two runners, however, it was his defensive performance that was particularly out-of-character. He had two errors, one of which, luckily, didn't end up hurting the Yankees as Kirk slid past second and was tagged out regardless.
My Take - Okay, I was never thrilled with the Yankees signing Aroldis Chapman for various reasons. Today was one of those games that illustrated precisely why I look forward to the day when he is no longer playing in the Bronx.
There are closing/late-inning pitchers who get into trouble, but you knew chances were pretty good they would get out of it. Mariano Rivera and David "Houdini" Robertson come to mind. Aroldis Chapman is not one of those pitchers.
It was clear from the moment he got in the game, that Chapman didn't have it today. He gave up a lead-off double to Santiago Espinal, allowing him to move to third on a wild pitch. Chapman walked Vinny Capra, and gave up a sac fly to Springer putting Toronto back in the game. In fact, Toronto was only a few feet away from a tie game when Bichette connected with an 87-mph slider.
Chapman managed to escape the game with only the one run scored, and it is his first earned run of the season, but it could have just as easily been his first blown save. The numbers don't necessarily show it (though it's worth noting his eight walks in ten innings), but Chapman doesn't feel like the dominating closer he is supposed to be. The good thing is it seems like Boone has gotten a better sense of when Chapman doesn't have it and starts getting someone ready much quicker than in the past.
Next Up - The Yankees head to Chicago, where they will take on the White Sox tonight. Luis Gil is making his first start of the season. He appeared in six games in 2021, going 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA over 29.1 innings, He racked up 38 Ks. Chicago will send Dylan Cease to the mound. Cease is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA over six starts (34 innings). He has 47 Ks on the season. First pitch is at 8:10 pm.