The little three-game winning streak was fun while it lasted. A rough sixth inning sent the Yankees to a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Let’s recap:
- Answer Back: Toronto scored a quick run in the first inning but the Yankees rallied to take a 2-1 lead by the fourth. Brian McCann singled in Derek Jeter in the third after Jeter reached on an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Then, an inning later, Frankie Cervelli singled in Chase Headley. They had first-and-third with two outs thanks to singles by Headley and Ichiro Suzuki. Five of eight Yankees reached base against Marcus Stroman at one point spanning the third and fourth innings.
- Meltdown: After allowing the first inning run, Chris Capuano kept the Blue Jays off the board for the next four innings. Then things completely unraveled in the sixth. A walk (Jose Bautista), an infield single (Edwin Encarnacion), and another walk (Dioner Navarro) loaded the bases with no outs, which usually means bullpen time. Instead, Capuano remained in the game to serve up a two-run ground-rule double to Danny Valencia, erasing the lead. He also stayed in to allow a long sacrifice fly to John Mayberry Jr., stretching the deficit to 4-2. Either Joe Girardi got caught off guard and didn’t have a reliever ready or he gave Capuano way, way too long of a leash at that point in the game.
- Late Innings: The Jays tacked on some runs with a Bautista solo homer in the seventh and then a walk, a wild pitch, and a single in the ninth. The insurance runs ultimately did not matter even though Jeter doubled in Brett Gardner in the bottom of the ninth. The Yankees did manage to bring the tying run to the plate that inning, but Brendan Ryan struck out and Chris Young flew out. Hard to believe Ryan was allowed to hit in that spot even with Carlos Beltran hurt. Zelous Wheeler or John Ryan Murphy would have been better options. Oh well.
- Leftovers: Jeter scored the 1,920th run of his career, breaking a tie with Alex Rodriguez and moving him into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time runs scored list … Gardner snapped an 0-for-27 slump with his first inning double. He had another hit later in the game … Ichiro (two), McCann, Headley, Cervelli, and Stephen Drew had their other hits. Headley drew the only walk … Chase Whitley and David Phelps allowed the insurance runs. Esmil Rogers and David Huff threw a scoreless inning each.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. The Yankees are 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot with only eight games to play. Their elimination number is five and FanGraphs has their postseason odds at 0.2%. All eyes will be on Masahiro Tanaka in the series finale on Sunday afternoon. He is returning to the mound after missing three months with a partially torn elbow ligament. Drew Hutchison is starting for the Jays. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you watch to catch that game or any of the other four final home games of the season/Jeter’s career live.