NY Yankees (2-2) @ Toronto Blue Jays (2-3) (series 1-0, 18 TP) 7-3
The Yankee starters have a nasty trend going on, and Masahiro Tanaka couldn’t end it. After tonight’s game, the Yankee pitching staff has given up 14 runs. This by itself isn’t too bad of a stat, but the fact that 7 have come in the first inning is a little alarming. Again, the first time through the order was trouble for the Yankee starter, who gave up 2 more in the second. The starters have a combined ERA of 4.38 through 4 games. The rest of the staff have a combined ERA of 0.96. These are both alarming, but soothing stats. So the starters get in trouble, big deal. The relievers seem to have no trouble holding and closing out games (only 2 hits, 5 walks with 13 Ks through 9.1 innings).
The Yankees scored 7 runs tonight (as many as the first 3 games combined). 14 runs without a home run, which is fine by me, I think the Yankee used to rely on the long ball way too much anyways. The Yankees also had base runners in the first inning, finally. Ellsbury hit a lead off double and scored two singles later. Teixeira hit an RBI single in the first, but left in the bottom of the second after straining his right hamstring. The Yankees had bases loaded in the first as well, before a rare Ichiro strike out and Solarte pop out ended the threat.
After losing the lead in the second, the Yankees scored 2 on a Solarte double, taking back the lead 4-3. 3 more runs were added on, one by one, in the fourth, eighth, and ninth to end up 7-3.
Every Yankee reached base at least once, with 8 either scoring a run or hitting in a runner. This was a great Team game, production from everyone.
Solarte went 2-5 with a double and 3 RBIs
Ellsbury went 3-4 with 2 doubles and a walk, scoring 2 runs
Ichiro went 3-5, scoring 2 runs
Johnson went 2-5 with the first triple of the year
Also, to note, the Yankees took advantage of the new instant replay rule this year, challenging a call in the third inning. The original call was a ground out for Ichiro in the third inning. This would have been the final out of the inning, but Joe Girardi challenged that Ichiro had beat the throw. The replay showed that he had, the inning continued, and Solarte hit a double in the next at bat which gave the Yankees the lead and knocked out Dustin McGowan, the Jays starter.
With this new rule (1 challenge in the first 6 innings, if used and corrected call, team receives a second, if used and call stands, team loses challenge opportunity) has just now proven why the expansion was a great idea. Girardi challenged the call, the umpires went right over to the headsets, talked for maybe a minute, overturned the call and the game continued. The only delay was McGowan getting back into pitching mode, which is understandable because the call had been the third out of the inning. The entire process took 2 minutes and corrected an error which ended up having an effect on the game.
In unrelated New York news, the Knicks dropped a tough one at home against the Washington Wizards 89-90. What makes it worse is, with the Hawks winning against Cleveland 117-98, the Knicks were bumped out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference with only 5 games remaining. They will need to go on an impressive streak, beating the Heat in Miami, the 3rd place Raptors twice, the Nets in Brooklyn, and the Bulls at home. I believe they will have to win them all and hope the Hawks drop 3 of their 7 left.