Yankees-Blue Jays Preview
The New York Yankees have somehow split the first two games of
this series despite scoring in one of their 18 innings at the
That production will likely have to improve over the final 10
games for them to reach the playoffs, and they have already lost
once to Toronto Blue Jays starter Todd Redmond heading into
Thursday night’s series finale at Rogers Centre.
New York (80-72) was blanked for the first 16 innings in this
set before breaking through for four runs in the eighth Wednesday
to rally from a three-run deficit for a 4-3 victory that ended a
“We hadn’t shaken hands for a while, so it was kind of nice,”
manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees and Kansas City are 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the
AL’s second wild-card spot. Baltimore is one game back and
Cleveland is one-half game out.
Girardi used Mariano Rivera for a four-out save – his 44th of
the year – after former Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells’ two-run
double capped the eighth-inning rally.
“Every time you win, it’s a great feeling,” Rivera said.
“Hopefully we come back tomorrow and wrap it up.”
Numerous hitters continue to fare poorly. The most notable is
Alex Rodriguez, who is 1 for 18 over his last six games while
dealing with a strained right calf and a sore left hamstring.
Ichiro Suzuki did not start Wednesday and has three hits in his
last 23 at-bats, Curtis Granderson is 8 for 36 with 13 strikeouts
on this 10-game trip and Robinson Cano has three singles and no
walks in his last 16 at-bats.
The Yankees will get another look at Redmond (3-2, 4.10 ERA), a
rookie who is 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three outings. That
run began when he limited New York to two runs over 5 2-3 innings
in a 7-2 home win Aug. 28.
Redmond yielded one run over a career-high 6 1-3 innings last
Friday in a 5-3 defeat to Baltimore, striking out seven with no
“He threw a whale of a game,” manager John Gibbons said.
Girardi said last month that Redmond has a deceptive arm angle
and the manager will once again use Hiroki Kuroda (11-11, 3.13) to
oppose the Toronto right-hander.
Kuroda surrendered seven runs over five innings in that outing
after going 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA over his previous five starts
against the Blue Jays. Last month’s loss is part of a six-start
winless stretch in which he is 0-4 with a 6.69 ERA.
The Yankees will be happy to have the right-hander on the mound
to cool off Colby Rasmus, who is 3 for 27 with 11 strikeouts
Rasmus continued to be Toronto’s hitting star as he homered in
his fourth straight game Wednesday – all since being activated off
the 15-day disabled list before Friday’s game against
Chris Stewart figures to be back at catcher for the Yankees
after he did not start Wednesday, with rookie J.R. Murphy making
his second career start.
New York is 14-4 against Toronto (69-82) for its most victories
ever in this season series.