The writing was on the wall before the first pitch. With Roy Halladay on the mound and with the Yanks featuring the equivalent of three pitchers in the lineup, A.J. Burnett would have to spin a gem to give his team a chance. He didn’t quite accomplish that. A couple of walks led to three runs in the fourth, and that’s all Roy Halladay would need. He cruised through the Yanks lineup on the way to a 5-1 Blue Jays victory.
Not that Halladay did it against an impressive lineup. With Swisher sitting and Jeter getting scratched, the Yanks lineup featured Ramiro Pena, Kevin Cash, and Brett Gardner, the latest hitting leadoff. He’s fast, therefore he hits leadoff. I think Dusty Baker said that. They were a collective 1 for 9, with the only hit coming in the ninth, a leadoff double from Ramiro Pena. He was one of just five Yankee baserunners last night, and like three others he didn’t come around to score.
While the Yanks offense certainly sucked, most of what you saw was Roy Halladay. He did what he does best, which is get groundball outs: 16 to be exact, to 5 fly outs and 5 strikeouts. After a league-leading nine complete games last year, this was just his first this year, but it certainly will not be his last. The only descriptor necessary, really, for Halladay’s start is dominance. At least the Yanks can take solace in not having to face him again until July 4th weekend.
On the mound, A.J. was pretty solid, consistently pumping 96 mph fastballs. Speed doesn’t always lead to results, and some wildness on the part of Burnett led to a big fourth inning for the Jays. They capitalized on A.J.’s two walks when Scott Rolen doubled in two. That extended to three when Kevin Cash couldn’t handle a money throw from Melky Cabrera on a sac fly. A.J. gave up a couple of runs in the eighth, but they were ultimately meaningless. Discouraging for sure, but ultimately meaningless.
While the Jays scored on a double, sac fly, homer, and single, the difference was in the walks. A.J. walked four, three of whom came around to score. Specifically, walking Wells and Lind back to back hurt coming on the heels of an Alex Rios leadoff double. That started the big inning, one the Yankees could not survive. That, folks, is all there really is to talk about. Burnett was good, dominating at times, but ultimately didn’t get the job done.
There won’t be many instances where a team will face Roy Halladay and then face someone tougher the next, but tomorrow’s matchup features the Yankees kryptonite: a middling starter they have yet to see. Scott Richmond, who signed with the Blue Jays after the 2007 season age 27, is having a fine season, but if the Yankees’ recent history is any indication he’ll look like Pedro Martinez circa 1999. It’s pessimistic, sure, but when the Yanks get dominated by the likes of Matt Palmer it’s tough to get excited.
Notes: Hideki Matsui left the game with a hamstring injury. John Sterling reported that it was a “strained hamstring,” but that seems like that’s a bit premature a diagnoses. We’ll update when we have more specific information. Hammies are never good, though. Also joining the crew in the infirmary is Phil Coke, who has back issues. So where’s the trainer the team can fire this year as a scapegoat?