So this series is not going according to plan. The Yankees lost for the third time in four games Saturday afternoon, falling 6-0 to the Blue Jays. It was only the fourth time the Yankees have been shut out this season, breaking a tie with the Tigers for the fewest shutout losses in baseball. It was their first shutout loss at home. It’s Saturday, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- What’s One More Batter?: Apparently the four-pitch walk to Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases wasn’t enough to convince Joe Girardi that Ivan Nova was out of gas in the sixth inning. Nova pitched very well for the first five innings, then in the sixth he needed a great play from Didi Gregorius to retire Troy Tulowitzki, walked Josh Donaldson, allowed a single to Jose Bautista, then walked Encarnacion on four pitches. Adam Warren was ready in the bullpen, but Girardi stuck with his tired starter — eleven of Nova’s previous 14 pitches were balls! — and Nova hung the hell out of a curveball, which Justin Smoak hit out for a grand slam. Maybe Warren would have given up the grand slam too, but man, Nova was so clearly gassed. Girardi’s bullpen decisions have been interesting this series. Let’s leave it at that.
- NOffense: Meanwhile, former future Yankee David Price predictably had his way with New York’s struggling offense, limiting them to three singles and three walks in seven shutout innings. He struck out seven. I’m not too worried about the offense, slumps happen, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. The Yankees had one runner make it to third base (Chase Headley in the seventh) and one other make it to second (Alex Rodriguez in the fourth). That’s all. In their last four games, the Yankees have four runs and 22 hits.
- MIA: The marginalization of Adam Warren continues. He was one of the team’s three most effective starters when he was demoted to the bullpen, and when he’s entered his last five games, the Yankees have been down four runs, up 14, up ten, down two, and down four. They took a young, cheap, and effective asset and turned him into a low-leverage reliever. Warren faced two batters after Smoak’s grand slam, struck them both out, and was removed from the game. What a waste.
- Leftovers: Bryan Mitchell replaced Warren to start the seventh — Girardi was doing that thing where he was saving a reliever for tomorrow again, right? — and allowed two runs in three innings … A-Rod, Gregorius, and Carlos Beltran had the three hits, all singles. Beltran, Headley, and Jacoby Ellsbury drew their only walks … Ellsbury went 0-for-3 with that walk and is hitting .198/.238/.358 since coming off the DL exactly one month ago.
Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings, and postseason odds. Also check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Blue Jays will wrap up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka and Marco Estrada will be on the mound. The Yankees will try to avoid being swept in a three-game series for only the third time this year.