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TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 31: Jacoby Ellsbury #22 of the New York Yankees reacts after striking out swinging to end the top of the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 31, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

0-for Toronto: Yankees vs Jays series recap

The Yankees current road trip continued in Toronto after losing four of their last six games.  The did manage to take two out of three from Tampa, including winning the series finale 2-1 while being one-hit.  The offense has been off and on and the pitching has been pretty decent for the most part.  After their recent win streak that brought them back to .500, they have hit a bit of a lull against division opponents.

Not a Memorial Day

The Yankees would send Ivan Nova to the mound to face Marco Estrada in the opener.  The Yankees have struggled against Estrada with a lifetime .213 batting average vs. the right-hander.  That would not see any improvement on Monday.

The Jays would jump on Nova early in this contest.  Edwin Encarnacion would get it started quickly with an RBI double in the first inning and then add another RBI with a ground out in the third.  A Michael Saunders double would make it 3-0 Jays after three.  A Ryan Goins home run made it 4-0 after the fifth.  Nova would end giving up four runs on eight hits in six innings.  Those numbers certainly don’t match the ones that he has been putting up since joining the rotation.  Hopefully, just a bump in the road and he will get back on a roll next time out.

Those four runs were more than enough for Estrada as he limited the Yankee offense to three hits over eight impressive innings.  A scoring threat never really seemed imminent.  The only Yankee tally of the night would come in the ninth inning courtesy of a two-run bomb from Brian McCann.  In the end, it was too little, too late as Toronto would take this one, 4-2.

No offense,  C.C.

The blazing fastball may be gone, but Sabathia has learned how to pitch without it.  And while it was difficult to watch in 2015, this season has been a pleasant surprise.  His month of May was a real eye opener as he only allowed three earned runs in his four starts while striking out nearly a batter an inning.  He is also getting more than his share of soft grounders and pop ups.

Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, Sabathia helped himself plenty, but the Yankees couldn’t muster the offense to get him a win.  The Yankees had plenty of base runners in the first couple of innings, but could only manage a 1-0 lead on Aaron Hicks‘ RBI ground out.  Justin Smoak would get that run back in the fourth inning with a solo home run.  C.C. would pitch a solid six innings and actually came out for the seventh inning with a pitch count of 76.  His leash would be short as he would exit after giving up a leadoff double in that inning.  Six innings, five hits, two runs, with four strikeouts.

Joe Girardi would try to work the formula by bringing in Dellin Betances.  Betances looked like the right choice as he quickly got the first two outs of the inning, but a walk and back-to-back singles plated three runs and the Jays didn’t look back from there.  Nothing is foolproof, especially when it comes to bullpens.

The Yankee offense gave a minimum amount of support against J.A. Happ as they only managed six hits for the game and only managed four base runners from the second inning on.  Toronto would take this one, 4-1.  Not a whole lot to say here.  Pretty respectable starting pitching, but nothing to back them up.

Swept away

The broken record would continue on Wednesday as decent starting pitching would be met with lackluster offense.  Masahiro Tanaka would take the mound trying to prevent the sweep.  Even though Tanaka was not at the top of his game, he still managed to give the team six innings of two run baseball, only one of which was earned.  Tanaka didn’t generate many swings and misses, but even when he was in a jam, still managed to get the team back to the dugout relatively unblemished.

Leaving runners on base was the theme to this one from the Yankees offense as well.  1-for-8 with runners in scoring position with 9 left on base for the game.  The scoring chances were early and often and almost too numerous to recap.  The Yankees had the basepaths clogged many times, but it seems that unless Elsbury or Beltran come up to the plate in these situations, the chances of scoring are very slim.

Even with all that, the Yankees entered the seventh inning only down 2-0.  Kirby Yates and Nick Goody supplied the bullpen meltdown as they allowed five runs in the seventh and the Jays put this one out of reach.  The Yankee offense would go quietly in each of the last two innings and crawl out of town with a 7-0 loss and a series sweep.  They now are 4 games below .500 and have lost 6 of 8.