After making a statement in the first game of this series, the Blue Jays hoped to continue their success at Yankee Stadium and put more breathing room between them and the 2nd place Yankees. In the first game of the double header, Marco Estrada looked to lead his team and get the day off to a good start so Marcus Stroman could make his 2015 debut in the second game. It was a game where the stadium played a big role in the score. Balls were flying today. There was lots of baseball with extra innings needed. But, as important as the game was, the news about Troy Tulowitzki was front and center. This was a game that provided us with a taste of what playoff baseball will be like. It was awesome.
Brett Gardner hit a “Yankee Stadium special” home run in the first inning to start the scoring. What was most notable about it was all the Blue Jays shirts in the seats. Yankee Stadium sure looked pretty empty for a game that is part of a playoff race. And, tickets to the first game mean a seat in the second game in a rare 2 for 1 game. You’d think native New Yorkers would be filling that place.
Toronto Blue Jays
In the 2nd inning, Chase Headley hit a a solo shot of his own. But, that wasn’t the real story in that frame. After a short pop-up to shallow CF, Kevin Pillar was calling for the ball. Troy Tulowitzki had a beat on it. Tulo caught it, but Pillar bumped into him from behind. What happened after was kind of odd. Tulo looked at Pillar, transferred the ball to his other hand and dropped it onto the field and then went down.
He was on the ground for quite a while. Everyone rushed on to the field, but he seemed to be OK as he walked off the field. But, the Blue Jays put Cliff Pennington in to replace him. Losing Tulo for any amount of time would be a huge blow. But, for now, we’ll just hope this is for precautionary reasons. The results of his X-Ray were negative. An MRI is scheduled and results should come by Sunday. Fingers crossed…
Pineda had his slider working early. And, in the early going, it seemed that he would be dominating this contest. Jose Bautista tagged him for a “Yankee Stadium special” of his own. In the 4th inning, he poked one to RF that just kept carrying. It looked like Carlos Beltran had a chance on it, but it ended up in the first row of seats. That seemed to be the turning point as far as Pineda was concerned. He was on the ropes the rest of his outing, never really recapturing his earlier form. He lasted through the 5th.
Alex Rodriguez did the same thing in the bottom of the inning. Bautista looked to have a chance to catch it, but instead, it carried for a 2-run shot. That gave A-Rod his 31st of the season and 685 of his career. This brought the score to 4-1.
- In the 4th innings, the Blue Jays had a golden chance with Pineda on the ropes. After a single up the middle from Edwin Encarnacion, an oppo single form Chris Colabello and a walk from Dioner Navarro, the bases were loaded. Ryan Goins came up to the plate and on the first pitch hit a weak grounder to end the inning and kill the rally. Goins has been hitting well lately, but this was not one of his finer moments.
- Yankee Stadium continued its home run carrying ways in the 5th. Ben Revere hit his first home run as a Blue Jay with a fly ball to RCF that kept carrying. That’s right. Ben Revere. Think there is something about this ballpark?
- Edwin Encarnacion is pumped up about playing playoff-like baseball right now. He used the long ball to tie the game at 4. Normally rather calm, he was clearly excited about his big blast as he rounded first base during his trot. And, why not?
- Jose Bautista‘s 2nd home run of the game was not of the cheap variety. He blasted a solo shot to dead center field off Dellin Betances to give his team the lead 5-4. It was a rather symbolic shot to Monument Park where the Yankees honor their great players of the past. With a statement win on Friday, the Blue Jays are serving notice.
- Brett Cecil gave up a single to Brian McCann that scored Ellsbury to tie the game. Ellsbury was not his run, so his streak of no earned runs since June remains in tact. But, the timing couldn’t have been worse. It tied up the game at 5 in the 8th inning. It prompted Gibby to turn to his closer, Roberto Osuna in a tie game.
- The 11th inning saw a drawn out top half that the Blue Jays loaded the bases with none out. After Navarro failed to bring anyone home, Russell Martin pinch hit for Ryan Goins and drew a walk from Chasen Shreve to give his team the lead. Some might question why Gibby waited to put Martin in for Goins instead of Navarro. It was curious at the time. But it worked.
- Ben Revere continued his hot streak by driving in the 7th run and 2nd of the 11th inning.
- The 11th inning kind of fell into the Blue Jays’ lap as most of the damage was done by Chasen Shreve. Walking in runs is never a good thing. And, he did it thrice that inning.