Another tough day for the Yankees in Toronto, who lost to the Jays for the second straight day. There are many reasons why this one ended up in the loss column. Some that stick out include, going 1-for-9, leaving nine men on base, and Mariano Rivera never even warming up let along getting into a game that lasted 14 innings. I could, and probably will go into them each in detail, but first lets focus on the positives.
Andy Pettitte had another great start. The lefty allowed two runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out ten in 7.2 innings. Andy had great command of all the pitches in his arsenal and threw 74 of his 107 pitches for strikes. He made just two mistakes on the day, and both left the yard. Vernon Wells gave the Jays an early 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the second. After Derek Jeter gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead with a two-run shot in the fifth, Alex Gonzalez tied the game two innings later with another solo blast.
Another positive on the day was the Yankees bullpen, well, besides Chad Gaudin. Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, David Robertson, and Chan Ho Park combined to throw 5.1 of four-hit baseball. While they each looked very good, the most impressive of the four was Joba Chamberlain, who not only was throwing 97, but more importantly, was throwing strikes. He struck out three in 1.1 scoreless.
Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner were the only two Yankees hitters to have solid days at the dish. Jeter went 2-for-6, with the homer and a single. Gardner also picked up two hits, including a double, walked twice, and stole his 20th base of the year.
Now for the ugly side of this game.
Besides the two guys above, the rest of the Yankees batters only combined for four hits and three walks over 14 innings. Mark Teixeira was especially bad. He went 0-for-6 with five, yes five strikeouts.
The Yankees did have a couple chances in regulation to give themselves a lead, but fell short both times. They loaded the bases with two out in the second before Kevin Russo grounded out to end that threat. In the seventh they put runners on second and third with one out, but Jeter lined into an inning-ending double play.
A lot of credit needs to go to the Jays staff. Ricky Romero was just as good as Pettitte, holding the Yankees to two runs on five hits, walked four and struck out seven over 8 innings pitched. Then a quartet of relievers held the Yanks to just three hits and a walk over six scoreless innings.
This all led to the bottom of the 14th, when the Joe Girardi called on Chad Gaudin, who was one of two relievers left in the Yankees pen. The other was some guy named Mariano Rivera. Like I said in the title, I knew this game was over as soon as he was announced as the pitcher, and it took just nine pitches. Gaudin walked Edwin Encarnacion on four pitches to start the inning, Fred Lewis laid down a successful sac bunt, and then Aaron Hill singled home the winning run.
I wrote a post earlier about the decision to use Gaudin while Mariano sat and waited for a save opportunity that never came, so I won't go into it again. But for now let's just say I don't agree with it. That said, they didn't lose this game only because of Chad Gaudin. Going 1-for-9 with RISP and leaving nine men on base will lead to a L on most days.
The Yanks now they look to Javier Vazquez to help them avoid a sweep. He'll take the mound against Jays righty Brandon Marrow. First pitch will be at 1:07 p.m. and the game will once again be on YES.