Friday, May 18, 2012

Blue Jays vs. Yankees recap – May 16 & 17 2012

Yan Gomes receives game ball from JP Arencibia
Picture via - Yahoo Sports

Blue Jays vs. Yankees recap – May 16 & 17
May 16thPitching Battle – Kyle Drabek (2-4) VS Hiroki Kuroda (3-4)

Before the game on May 16th, there were some questions that needed to be answered in my mind for the Blue Jays. 
  1. How would Brett Lawrie rebound after his incident on from just 24 hours ago?  He had two utterly ridiculous calls go against him at the plate during the bottom of the 9th by the home umpire.  All because he is 21 and apparently showed up the umpire by beginning to trot to 1st on a pitch that was in the left handed batter’s box and he perceived as ball four.  To begin the game, the same umpire – Bill Miller, who was at home plate last night, was the 3rd base umpire.  There were no incidents between them, so it looks like they spoke earlier.
  2. Could Kyle Drabek turn things around after losing his previous 4 starts? And How would he do in his 4th start against the Yankees – he is 3-1 heading into this game against them
There is an interesting thing to note before the game - the batting order: Eric Thames is batting 2nd, Brett Lawrie (who is appealing his suspension) is batting 5th, Edwin Encarnacion is playing 1st, Adam Lind at DH and Omar Viquel starts at SS.

In the 1st inning, Kyle Drabek opened the game by striking out Curtis Granderson, then walked Cano but got Arod to ground out.  He is off to a great start.  In the bottom of the inning, Jose Bautista fouled off a pitch that almost went into the 500 level, but ended up striking out on a breaking ball, perhaps he is getting his swing back.  In the 2nd inning,  with Derek Jeter off for the day, and Brett Lawrie at bat, Robinson Cano dropped the ball that was tossed to him by Jason Nix, Edwin (the runner) was out, but Lawrie was safe.  Colby Rasmus strikes out but with Lawrie on J.P. Arencibia hits a 2-run homer.  2-0 Blue Jays

In the 3rd inning, Eric Thames hit a 2 out double, Jose Bautista walks and Edwin hit a HR to CF - 5-0 Jays.  In the 4th Inning, the Blue Jays collect some hits and score some more.  JP Arencibia doubles with 1 out, Omae Vizquel drew a walk with 2 outs, which drew a mound visit from Yankees pitching coach.  Kelly Johnson hit a single between 3rd and SS, the throw from Ibanez was on time, but Arencibia had a perfect slide into home n-  6-0 Jays

So far through 5 innings, Drabek has shutout the Yankees, allowing just 1 hit.  He has been in command and has shown great pace throughout the game.  He has looked great so far.  Drabek gets some more run support after the Blue Jays 3rd home run by Jose Bautista HR to LF – 7-0 Blue Jays.

There is a cool moment in the 6th Inning, by the Yankees.  Robinson Cano hits his 300th career double to right, then Mark Teixeira hits his 1500th hit and Cano scores.  The ball took a wicked bounce off the astro turf and Encarnacion was unable to come up with it and the ball squirted into RF.  7-1 Blue Jays.  Drabek has now given up 1 run on 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s.  In the bottom of that inning, JP Arencibia is at bat, Kuroda pitches his 100th pitch, and JP hits a single and is now a triple away from the cycle.  He also knocks Kuroda out of the game.  Clay Rapada in to face Adam Lind (lefty vs lefty).  He gets a strikeout and a double play to end the inning.

Kyle Drabek begins the 7th with his 4th strikeout, then walks the next batter – still looks like he is in control, but top of order his heading up and is at 99 pitches now.  He falls behind 3-0 to the 9th hitter and has now thrown 7 straight balls.  Luis Perez begins to warm up in the bullpen.   With one out, Omar Vizquel takes the ground ball hit by Curtis Granderson, under arms his throw to Kelly Johnson who trails the runner, but the runner is called out.  Blue Jays catch a break, but now have 2 outs.  Drabek strikes out Nick Swisher to end the inning; Yankees strand runners at 1st and 3rd

Kelly Johnson begins the Blue Jays 7th with a solo HR, his 100th of his career - 8-1 Blue Jays
Luis Perez begins the inning by walking two batters, then gets Andruw Jones to fly out to LF.  The Blue Jays look to be in command of this one.  The only question now is will JP hit for the cycle?

With Jays fans watching JP Arencibia’s at bat, with him needing a triple for the cycle, he hits a foul ball that looked like a triple when it left his bat.  He strikes out.  Adam Lind hits a single down the first base line, which might be a sign he is turning things around.  Cano makes up for his error in the 7th, by making a great double play to end the Jays 8th.  Fransico Cordero in to pitch the 9th - uh oh, not another blown save, wait, this isn’t a save opportunity, ok maybe we might be alright.

Cordero pitches a perfect 9th for only the 2nd time all season.  Russell Martin lined out to Center, D. Wise popped out and Curtis Granderson strikes out to end the game.  Blue Jays win 8-1.  Perhaps using Cordero in the 8th instead would be better.  

Final pitching lines - 
-          Drabek – 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER, 4 walks, 5 K’s
-          Kuroda – 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 7 ER, 2 walks, 6 K’s

May 17thPitching Battle – Drew Hutchison (3-1) VS Phil Hughes (3-5)

Again there is news to report before the game.  It appears Adam Lind has not turned things around quick enough for the Jays GM, and he has been demoted to triple-A.  Yan Gomes has been called up.  He will play 3rd base, and Brett Lawrie and the Blue Jays have dropped his appeal on his suspension. 
  1. So, how would Yan Gomes do in his call up, against the Yankees?  How is Adam Lind going to handle being demoted?  Adam Lind was the only Blue Jay to hit a home run off of Hughes going into this game, but they Jays hit 4 the day before, how will they do today?
  2. How will Hutchison handle the Yankees? 
In today’s batting order – Yunel Escobar is back batting 2nd again, Edwin is batting 4th, then Arencibia is 5th.  Ben Fransico gets the start at DH batting 6th, with Gomes batting 8th and Rajai Davis getting the start in Left. 

In the 1st inning, Robinson Cano doubles to left and scores Granderson.  Yankees 1-0.  Two innings later, the Blue Jays, get on the board.  Jose Bautists hits his 10th home run, and drives in Yunel.  Blue Jays 2-1.    There is no scoring for another 5 innings when JP Arencibia hits his 5th home run and drives in Bautista.  Blue Jays up 4-1.

I was wondering how Hutchison would do and he ends up holding the Yankees to only 5 hits.  He made Derek Jeter look silly (not easy to do at all) on a few pitches.  The Yankees have not looked good at the plate over these two games.  Derek Jeter made a throwing error as well.

Final pitching lines -
-          Hughes – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 2 walks, 5 K’s
-          Hutchison – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 4 walks, 3 K’s

Yan Gomes was the other question mark.  Other than his weird looking batting stance, and his baby face, he did not look like a guy who just flew in from Las Vegas.  He collects 2 hits, in his debut against the New York Yankees.  Its also nice to see Bautista home runs in consecutive game.  He is not swinging at balls in the dirt or in the other batter’s box anymore.  Another thing to note is seeing Eric Thames not starting.  I saw on twitter that Vladimir Guerreo crushed a ball in batting practice.  I think he will be up before Travis Snider or Adam Lind.  Then Vladdy will DH full time while Edwin plays first.  Then I think that if Thames does not get it together, Lind will be called back up to play left field or traded once he finds his swing.

A series sweep of the New York Yankees, I'll take that any day, even if it's just two games.  The Blue Jays go against the New York Mets in inter-league play for the weekend.  Hands up if you love inter-league plays - ya that's what I thought.

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