That was a dumb end to the homestand, but hey, I’m pretty sure we all would have signed up seven wins in ten games coming out of the All-Star break. Let’s recap Sunday afternoon’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays:
- Rally to Tie, Part I: The Yankees made J.A. Happ look like Felix Hernandez or Miles Mikolas for the first four innings. He faced one over the minimum in those innings and retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced before Chase Headley and Frankie Cervelli teamed up for back-to-back solo homers in the fifth. Headley’s was a bomb out to left, Cervelli’s a Yankee Stadium cheapie to right-center. They were the team’s 18th and 19th homers by right-handed hitters this year. Yep.
- Mean Greene: Not the prettiest outing for Shane Greene, who did wiggle out of a second and third with no outs jam in the first inning while allowing only one run. He surrendered a solo homer to Juan Francisco, and, after the offense rallied to tie the game, a run-scoring double to Colby Rasmus in the sixth. Three runs on eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings isn’t great but it’s hardly a disaster. Greene bent but he did not break.
- Rally to Tie, Part II: In a refreshing role reversal, the other team’s infield defense led to a run in the sixth inning. Derek Jeter singled and Jacoby Ellsbury walked with one out before moving up on Carlos Beltran’s ground out. Brian McCann plated the game tying run with a weak grounder. The second baseman short-hopped the throw to first and full-in first baseman Jose Bautista couldn’t handle the throw. McCann was safe and credit with an infield single, and Ellsbury scored the tie the game at three.
- Wild Wild Wild: Dellin Betances pitched out of a David Huff created mess in the seventh inning — he inherited first and second with no outs — but his wildness hurt him in the eighth. He walked Rasmus to start the inning and let him get to third by throwing away a pickoff throw. A Munenori Kawasaki sac fly gave Toronto a 4-3 lead. Dr. Dellin in the seventh, Mr. Betances in the eighth.
- Rally to Tie, Part III: For the third time in the game, the Yankees answered right back immediately after the Blue Jays scored. Brett Gardner led the eighth inning off with a single, moved to second on Jeter’s bunt, and scored on Beltran’s single to shallow left. Good ol’ manufactured run. I wish they would hit-and-run or just flat-out tell Gardner to run in those situations. Bunting is a waste of his speed.
- No Shutdown Innings Allowed: The Yankees weren’t the only team to do the answering. Toronto scored the next-half inning each time the Bombers scored, including in the ninth. A single by Melky Cabrera, a run-saving diving stab by Headley to cut down the lead runner at second, a stolen base by Bautista, and a single by Dioner Navarro re-gave the Jays the lead off David Robertson. Just one shutdown inning would have been cool. There was no ninth inning rally for New York. Not even a base-runner.
- Leftovers: The YES cameras caught Troy Tulowitzki at the game wearing an Arrested Development shirt (photo). He’s in New York to see a specialist about his hip injury … the usually reliable bullpen allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in 3.2 innings. Can’t expect zeroes every single day … every starter had exactly one hit except Ellsbury and Brendan Ryan. Ellsbury drew a walk though … Cervelli made two great plays at the plate. First to reel in Zelous Wheeler’s off-line throw to tag Dan Johnson in the fourth, and again to hold onto McCann’s short-hop throw for the force out in the seventh.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs has some other stats and ESPN has the updated standings. Depending on the outcome of the afternoon, the Yankees will be either three games back (Orioles lose) or four games back (Orioles win) of the top spot in the AL East. They’re one game back of Toronto for the second wildcard either way. The Yankees are off to Texas to play the last place Rangers now. David Phelps and Yu Darvish open the three-game series on Monday night.