That was an embarrassment. If there was any doubt the Blue Jays are the far superior team, they showed it Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium and doing it convincingly. The Yankees were blown out 10-7 in the second game Saturday night. The game did not feel as close as the score indicates. No siree. The Blue Jays are 8-1 in the Bronx this season and have outscored the home team 57-26. Let’s recap with bullet points:
- NoNoNova: Back-end guys like Ivan Nova are always hurt the most by Tommy John surgery because they have the smallest margin for error and can’t afford to lose anything. Nova’s command was never great, but now it’s nonexistent, and the Blue Jays tagged him for six runs in just 1.2 innings Saturday night. Ten of the 15 batters he faced reached base. Nova’s up to 19 runs and 36 base-runners in his last 17.2 innings. He’s getting worse as he gets further away from elbow reconstruction, not better.
- Comeback Attempt: Not that it matters, but could Alex Rodriguez really not play the second game of the doubleheader? Put Brian McCann at first and A-Rod at DH given the magnitude of the game? It’s not like Alex had to run hard in the first game. Whatever. Anyway, the Yankees didn’t pick up their first hit until John Ryan Murphy‘s infield single leading off the fifth. They didn’t get a hit on a ball to the outfield until Brett Gardner hit a three-run homer four batters later. That cut the deficit to 6-3 and suddenly we had ourselves a ballgame. The Yankees scored another run in the sixth on Didi Gregorius‘ double, but Chris Young (popup) and Jacoby Ellsbury (line out) stranded runners at second and third.
- Pull Away: One half-inning after the Yankees got the tying run into scoring position, the Blue Jays scored four more runs to put the game out of reach. Chris Capuano deserved better — he threw three scoreless innings after Nova with a 33-minute rain delay mixed in — than to be charged with four runs on two ground ball singles, a walk, and an infield single. The infield single was lol-worthy and led to two runs. I can’t even explain it. Branden Pinder then came in, gave up some line drive singles to Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista, and that was that. Fin.
- Leftovers: Gardner hit a garbage time three run homer in the eighth. He hit three homers on the day and is the first Yankee to homer in both ends of a doubleheader since Andruw Jones against the Red Sox in 2012 … Ellsbury went 0-for-10 with a walk in the doubleheader and is down to .259/.321/.352 (87 wRC+) on the season … the Yankees actually had 13 hits, including two each by Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Murphy, and Gregorius … and finally, the YES booth said the Yankees have never not won the division in a season in which they once had a four-game lead. The 2015 Yankees, of course, have turned their seven-game lead into a 4.5 game deficit in a touch more than six weeks.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. The magic number to clinch a postseason spot remains 19 at this very moment, though that could change pending the outcome of the Twins game. Here are our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Blue Jays wrap up this mess of a four-game series Sunday afternoon. It’ll be Masahiro Tanaka and R.A. Dickey on the hill. If Tanaka can’t save them, no one can.