BRONX, N.Y. — One probably has to go back to 1993 when the New York Yankees were flat out overmatched by the Toronto Blue Jays. Those Blue Jays were World Series champions and while those Yankees didn’t quite have the horses yet, they battled. This series was flat-out atrocious. For the first time since 1908, the Yankees were swept in a four-game series at home and never held a lead. The Blue Jays outhomered the Yankees, 12 to four. New York had a meek four extra-base hits the entire series, two game-tying homers in the past two games and two homers in garbage time in the finale.
The Yankees have dropped six consecutive contests, are 2-8 in their last 10 games, and are tied in the loss column, a mere three percentage points ahead of the Blue Jays for the second AL Wild Card spot. What an absolutely brutal, non-competitive, four-game sweep.
Hopefully, you enjoyed your Labor Day off, not watching this game. If Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, it’s fitting, because the Blue Jays built a snowman on the Yankees, 8-0.
The New York offense was a complete bust, scratching out five hits. New York’s two through four hitters (Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton) posted a combined 0-for-11.
The pinstripes pushed Jameson Taillon into the seventh. It was a better outing than his previous few starts but alas, not enough. Taillon yielded consecutive homers to Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first frame and another run in the seventh.
From there, it was the Brooks Kriske disaster hour, as he allowed five runs in the ninth inning, yielding a homer to Teoscar Hernandez and a grand slam to Semien.
Yet again the Yankees offense was abysmal. Yet again, they failed to record an extra-base hit. On that micro-level, that was awful enough. DJ LeMahieu and Judge went a combined 0-for-8 at the top. However, the worst portion of their 5-1 defeat was Gerrit Cole exiting the game with hamstring tightness.
During the second stanza, Blue Jays DH Alejandro Kirk started off his big two-homer evening by jolting a deep fly to right off Cole.
New York actually got back to some small ball and tied the game at one in the third inning. Facing Steven Matz, Andrew Velazquez singled, stole second, and was driven in on an Anthony Rizzo single to left.
Yet, it wouldn’t stay tied for long. During the fourth frame, a pair of singles from Hernandez and Krik, plus a Lourdes Gurriel sac-fly to center, staked Toronto to a 2-1 edge. After a balk advancing Kirk to second, a walk to Jake Lamb, and a passed ball by Kyle Higashioka enabling Kirk to move to third, a Reese McGuire sac-fly to center made it 3-1. With that, Cole exited with the injury.
Semien homered off Albert Abreu in the fifth frame and Kirk went yard off Clay Holmes in the eighth inning to cap off the Blue Jays scoring.
So much for the afterglow of Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame induction. Luis Gil was back in the Bronx but even his magic seemed to run out. The pinstripes were only able to record one extra-base hit in a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
Gil did register six Ks in 3.1 frames. Unfortunately, he only lasted that long because of seven walks. With one out in the fourth frame, Gil walked the bases loaded before being lifted. A Lucas Luetge wild pitch gave Toronto a 1-0 edge. Semien continued to torture the Yankees with a two-run single to left, making the score 3-0.
Bringing the Bronx Bombers back to life was the last link to Jeter, Brett Gardner. In the fifth frame, Gardner clocked a three-run rocket to right-center, off Alex Manoah for the equalizer. It was the Yankees’ lone extra-base hit.
Unfortunately, Jeter wasn’t at shortstop, Andrew Velazquez was. In the seventh inning, rather than eat the ball, Velazquez allowed Semien to advance to second base on an errant throw. After Clay Holmes fanned Guerrero Jr., he got Bo Bichette to ground out, moving Semien to third. Semien would score on a Hernandez single to right, as Toronto re-gained the lead.
Chad Green wasn’t much better in the eighth inning, yielding a triple to Gurriel, who would score on a Jake Lamb sac-fly.
Aroldis Chapman also got rocked, on a Guerrero Jr. homer to left in the ninth inning.
It was yet another abysmal showing by the Yankees in their 6-4 defeat to the Blue Jays. They couldn’t hit. The defense was shoddy. They went to the bottom of the barrel of the relief corps and it did not turn out great for them.
The Blue Jay bats bopped Nestor Cortes early, as Bichette launched to left in the first frame for a 1-0 edge. Yankee killer Randal Grichuk popped off to left in the fifth frame to double the Toronto advantage.
As they did the night before, the Bronx Bombers offered up a game-tying salvo against Jose Berrios. Judge singled off the third-base bag and the ensuing batter Rizzo crushed a two-run tater to right in the sixth inning.
Of course, as the Yankees tie the game, they oddly summon Sal Romano from the bullpen. After recording two outs, Romano yielded a double to Danny Jansen, plunked pinch-hitter Jake Lamb and allowed an RBI single to Bichette.
There was more mess in the eighth inning. After Wandy Peralta issued a one-out walk to Kirk, Gurriel reached on a fielder’s choice, as Tyler Wade dropped an on-the-money throw from Gleyber Torres, on what would’ve been an easy force play at second base. After Grichuk singled, Jansen was issued a free pass and added to the Toronto lead.
In the ninth inning, rather than keeping the game in check, manager Aaron Boone brought in Andrew Heaney. Heaney surrendered a solo bomb to Guerrero Jr. and an RBI double to ex-Yankee Breyvic Valera, putting the game essentially out of reach.
Facing Nate Pearson in the home half, Gary Sanchez smacked a solo swat off the foul pole in left, and following him was pinch-hitter Luke Voit, who hammered a solo smash to left but that was all the Bronx Bombers had left in a tank running on fumes.
At 78-62, the Yankees head to Flushing to take on the New York Mets for a three-game Subway Series set.
Pitching probables, Jordan Montgomery vs. Tylor Megill, Corey Kluber vs. Taijuan Walker, TBD vs. Carlos Carrasco.