This was Yank prospect Michael King‘s possible final chance to stick in Yankee management minds as a potential starter someday. He has not pitched well this year but looked great in this game through 2 innings, on a cold night in Buffalo, striking out 4 and holding a 1-0 lead on a Gio Urshela RBI single in the 2nd.
Gio gets one ☝️ pic.twitter.com/V6SgIzaSdH
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 21, 2020
But King couldn’t get out of the 3rd — single, strikeout, walk, RBI single, RBI single, strikeout, RBI single. With the Yanks down 3-1 Jonathan Loaisiga — who has looked good this year as a reliever but did miss a week with injury recently — came in and immediately gave up a 2-RBI double and it was 5-1 Toronto.
Loaisiga got the final out of the 3rd but got even more roughed up than King in the 4th: double, batter reached on catcher’s interference — defense remember, walk, RBI single, RBI single, double play to score a run, walk, RBI double and Loaisiga was gone — not able to get the final out of the inning. The Yanks were down 9-1.
Pitching Makes Yanks Look Disinterested
Scuttlebutt on Yankee Twitter was of the Yankees playing like they didn’t care about this game, the way they were losing — after having clinched the playoffs the night before. Thus the pitching is 90% of the game comment. And the defense and hitting being the other 50%.
Shoemaker’s Great, Great Grandfather’s Occupation
Meanwhile the Yankee offense (part of the other half of the game) was doing nothing further against Toronto starter Matt Shoemaker — although there was a lot of speculation of what his great, great, great grandfather did for a living on Yankee Twitter.
T.J. Zeuch relieved Shoemaker after 3 and really gutted the Yanks with 3.1 strong innings. The Yanks got a run in the 7th on a Gio Urshela RBI groundout to make it 10-2, countered by a home run by Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk — who went 4-4 on the day — causing Yankee Twitter to switch to meme’s of Captain Kirk.
It was that kind of lost evening. The Yanks mounted a 2-out rally in the 9th — two walks to load the bases and then Mike Tauchman pinch-hit a bases-clearing double to make it 11-5. But Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end it.
Mike Tauchman drives in three runs with a double in the 9th.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 22, 2020
The Yanks clinched the playoffs the night before, but are still racing to get home field advantage. They are in 5th place amongst the 8 playoff teams, and have lost 2 in a row in blow out fashion. NY is 31-23; Toronto is 28-26.
The Yanks are 1.5 behind 4th place Minnesota — who they would at this point play in the 1st round — in Minnesota, unless they can jump ahead of them into 4th and get home field advantage. The Yanks lead 6th place Cleveland by 1 game, are 3 ahead of Toronto, and 4 ahead of 8th place Houston.