Blue Jays: Ugly inning hurts Stroman as Jays fall to Yanks

After cruising through the first five innings, Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays collapsed in the sixth, allowing seven runs to the Yankees in New York. With this loss, the Jays are in danger of losing their first series of the season in Sunday’s finale, where Jaime Garcia will take the hill against Luis Severino.

Whatever the angle, the conclusion is the same. Saturday’s game against the Yankees was brutal. The defense was shaky, the clutch hitting was non-existent, and while Marcus Stroman cannot take all of the blame, he certainly was not the stellar, lights out ace we’ve seen in the past.

After it’s all said and done, the Jays lost 9-1, surrendering nine runs on nine hits, committing one error, while managing just one run on four hits. With this loss, the Jays record stands at 13-7 on the season. Coming into Sunday’s action, they are second in the American League East, four games behind the Boston Red Sox and two and a half games ahead of the Yankees.

Early on, it seemed as though the boys in blue had a shot at this one. They had Yanks starter Jordan Montgomery on the ropes early, and put away the opposition with ease in the early going. Even after the two-run homer by Aaron Judge, the offense still strung a couple of hits together to make it interesting.

That all changed in the bottom of the sixth inning, where things went downhill quickly. After Brett Gardner got it started with a single, the Yankees proceeded to force a walk, a single, another walk, an error by catcher Luke Maile, a double, yet another walk, a second single, and two sacrifice flies to put up an eerily crooked number that sent Stro to the showers.

Relievers Tyler Clippard and Aaron Loup would pitch the rest of the game, holding the Yankees to two hits over two innings. The Jays knocked Montgomery out after six but were not able to muster any runs against Chasen Shreve or Jonathan Holder.

Realistically, this is nothing but a bad day for the Jays. Despite the continued pessimism of many fans, this game will likely not send the Jays into a downward spiral. Yes, it’s unfortunate that they lost this one and yes, it was frustrating to watch that sixth inning. They still have a relatively comfortable margin between them and the Yanks and can afford to have a bad series or two in the next few weeks.

But think about it this way, this is the first time this season that the Blue Jays have lost a game by more than five runs. On this day last year, the Jays had already lost two games by this margin, with more in larger ranges.

With a tough schedule ahead, this game was rather crucial for the Jays. Still, it’s not the end of the world that they lost. Here’s hoping Stroman and the Jays can get back on track ahead of their next series against the red-hot BoSox.

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