Yankees finish off sweep of Jays behind Pettitte and Rivera-less bullpenBy
Four wins in three days? Four wins in three days! Against the Blue Jays too, the offseason champiohahaha! Nevermind. The Yankees won their fifth straight game and their tenth in their last dozen games overall on Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, the three hour and thirty-two minute rain delay didn’t exactly jibe with my schedule, so I missed a huge chunk of this game. All the action, really. I left after the blown call on Alex Rodriguez‘s would-be infield single in the fourth and returned when Boone Logan bailed out Shawn Kelley in the seventh. Missed all the scoring in the 5-3 victory.
Aside from the actual win in the standings, the most important thing to come from the game was Andy Pettitte and his second straight Pettitte-esque start. He held Toronto to just a solo homer in six innings, allowing four hits and three walks against three strikeouts. Andy walked a few more batters than usual, both otherwise it looked like typical Pettitte and that’s a very positive sign. The Yankees need at least one of their underperforming starters to step up down the stretch, and right now it looks like Andy will be the guy.
The most notable play on offense was Vernon Wells‘ single/sac fly/double play/blown call. I can’t explain it, so just watch the video. The end result was the go-ahead run after Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer tied it earlier in the inning. Eduardo Nunez plated two big insurance runs with a tomahawk single to center in the sixth inning. The Yankees only had four hits in the game — the Blue Jays pitching staff did them a big favor with six walks. Aside from the Granderson homer, every runner who scored for New York originally reached on ball four.
Mariano Rivera was unavailable due to his recent workload, meaning Joe Girardi had to mix-and-match his way through the seventh and eighth innings before handing the ball to closer du jour David Robertson. Kelley allowed two runs and four of six batters faced to reach base before being bailed out by Logan, who whiffed Adam Lind for the final out of the seventh. The just called up Preston Claiborne fired a scoreless eighth before Robertson threw a perfect ninth. He went to a three-ball count on all three batters faced, naturally.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN the updated standings. With the win, the Yankees are now just 3.5 (!) games back of the second wildcard spot, four in the loss column. Cool Standings has their postseason odds at 15.4%. They were at 1.8% as recently as August 7th, just to give you an idea of how much progress they’ve made lately. The Yankees are off to Tampa for three ridiculously important weekend games. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against rookie right-hander Chris Archer in Friday night’s series opener.