Following Friday’s blowout win, the Yankees and Blue Jays played a rollercoaster game on Saturday. New York led for most of the game, Toronto tied it late, then the Bombers took the lead and finished off the win in extra innings. Don’t look now, but since the ugly 1-4 start, the Yankees have now won nine of their last 11 games. Let’s recap…
- #HIROK ‘n Roll: I’m running out of ways to praise Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run on three hits and a walk in seven innings in his latest gem. The run didn’t even score while he was on the mound, but more on that in a bit. Kuroda struck out seven, got nine ground ball outs, generated 14 swings and misses out of 108 total pitches, and was pretty awesome overall. The guy is amazing. I never want him to not be on the Yankees.
- Fear The Lefty: The Yankees have had some well-known trouble against lefties this year, but they were able to score three runs off Mark Buehrle in his seven innings of work. The first came on a Vernon Wells homer, the other two when Brett Lawrie whiffed on Kevin Youkilis‘ bases loaded line drive. The ball was hit hard and right at him, but he just came up empty. A big league third baseman has to make that play and it was a deserved error. Other than that, the Yankees blew a pair of bases loaded situations (Eduardo Nunez pop-up, Frankie Cervelli double play) and also stranded a runner at third with one out in the another inning. For a while it sure looked like that would come back to bite them.
- Bad David: David Robertson had his first of what will inevitably be several meltdowns this season, allowing three total runs — one he inherited from Kuroda and two of his own — in two-thirds of an inning. He walked two and allowed two hits in that eighth inning, including the game-tying two-run single by former Yankee Melky Cabrera. That one was especially frustration because Robertson had him in a two-strike count and threw nothing but fastballs in the six-pitch at-bat. The out-pitch curveball is only good if he use it, David.
- And The Yankees Take The Lead: It was not a good game for the Blue Jays defensively, and it really bit them in the 11th. Wells and Cervelli opened the inning with singles, but when Ichiro Suzuki tried to bunted them up a base, reliever Aaron Loup picked up the ball and threw towards a not-ready Lawrie at third. He was still moving back to third when Loup threw the ball, so the ball wound up down the line in left field. Both Wells and Cervelli scored and that was that. The Yankees were back on top by two a few innings after blowing a three-run lead.
- Leftovers: The trio of Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and Shawn Kelley did a fine job navigating the ninth and tenth innings. Joba looked particularly filthy, hitting 98.9 (!) with the fastball and 90.5 (!!) with the slider according to PitchFX … Wells is wearing out his former team this weekend, with three more hits including the homer on Saturday … Ben Francisco and Nunez were the only Yankees to not record hits. Nunez is down to .184/.267/.211 during his audition as Derek Jeter‘s heir to the shortstop position … Kevin Youkilis left the game in the sixth inning with a tight lower back, but neither he nor Joe Girardi thought it was serious. He will not play on Sunday, however.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Ivan Nova will be on the mound Sunday afternoon as the Yankees look to finish off the sweep against one of Toronto’s other new additions, Josh Johnson.