What is there to say about a game where Toronto won 14-1?
1. Tanaka Not Crisp, and Hurt By Luck & Defense
Masahiro Tanaka was not crisp. To his credit, he got some bad luck and bad defense behind him. He allowed 2 runs in the 1st inning — a double-play grounder took a bad hop and went over DJ LeMahieu‘s head and then Gary Sanchez tried to pick off a runner at 1st and threw the ball into right field. Tanaka gave up those 2 runs in the 1st, pitched a shutout 2nd, allowed a run in the 3rd, and 2 in the 4th. He threw 91 pitches; 4 innings, 8 hits. He finishes the year 3-3 3.56.
2. Yankees Had Terrible Infield Defense
The Yankee infield defense was terrible — 4 errors — one by Gleyber Torres at shortstop in the 3rd, one by Luke Voit at 1st, and 2 by Gary Sanchez behind the plate, including a catcher’s interference that helped kicked off the massive 8-run Toronto 6th inning that turned a 5-1 game into a 13-1 game. In the 3rd a hot grounder down 3rd got past Gio Urshela; not an error but a play that Gio normally makes.
— Tom Hanslin (@TomHanslin) September 23, 2020
3. Yank Relievers Got Torched
Luis Cessa tried to come to the rescue — and did at first, pitching a shutout 5th inning and holding the score at 5-1. But then things got away from him in the 6th (not helped by Sanchez see above),
The Yankees trotted in former St. Louis Cardinal lefty Tyler Lyons in the 6th and boy did that not work out. This is the 2nd year in a row that the Yankees reached into thin air and inexplicably added Lyons to the roster in the final weeks of the season.
4. Yanks Had Bases Loaded Nobody Out — Didn’t Score
The Yankees had the bases loaded with nobody out in the 5th when it was still a game at 5-1 — but former Yank A.J. Cole came in and shut them out — striking out Giancarlo Stanton, getting Luke Voit to pop up, and getting Gleyber Torres on a long fly ball to the right field wall.
5. Yankee Offense Got 4 Hits, 1 Run
Toronto starter Robbie Ray, a 6’2 left hander, pitched 4 innings of 3 hit baseball, striking out 5 and allowing no earned runs. The only Yankee run came in the 2nd on a passed ball by Toronto catcher Danny Jansen. After A.J. Cole pitched his special inning, 6’2 right hander Ross Stripling came in to pitch 4 shutout, 1-hit innings to end the game — and lower his ERA to 5.40.
Cleveland Won But Yanks Still Alone in 5th Spot
Cleveland won so have tied the Yankees in record at 34-24 — however, playoff rules say the first 3 seeds go to the division winners; the 2nd trio of seeds (4-6) go to the second-place finishers in each division, ordered by record. That means the Yankees are still in the 5th seed and cannot be bypassed by the 3rd best team in the Central division (at this point Cleveland). The final two seeds (7-8) go to the two wild-card teams. Minnesota won to take the lead in the Central division, so now the White Sox are in the 4th spot of the playoff ranking, 2 games ahead of the Yanks.
Only Good News
The only good news on the evening was that DJ LeMahieu went 2-4 to raise his average to .360. Tim Anderson went 0-4 and dropped to .346. There are 4 games left.
Luke Voit continues to lead the AL in homers with 21; Jose Abreu has 19.
Gio Urshela went 1-3 to raise his average to .311, and Luke Voit got the only other Yankee hit, going 1-3 (batting .276).