Mike King pitched 6 shutout, 1 hit innings for the Yanks, but T.J. Zeuch and the Blue Jay bullpen shut down the vaunted Yankee lineup in this pitchers’ duel on a sunny, nice-but-chilly Easter Sunday afternoon game at Yankee Stadium where the temperature hit 60 degrees as a high.
4 reasons how:
1. Zeuch Impresses
Timothy James Zeuch is a 6’7″ right hander who famously pitched a no hitter in AAA at Buffalo in 2017. He played college ball at University of Pittsburgh (13-13 3.33 ERA there) and was picked in the 1st round of the 2016 draft. Zuech was 19-19 3.52 in Toronto’s minor league system.
Zeuch used his sinker and mixed in 3 other off-speed pitches with his fastball to shut out the Yankees for 4 innings on 1 hit.
2. King Impresses Even More
Michael King is the guy who blew thru the Yankee minor leagues in 2018, going 11-5 1.79 while vaulting from A ball to AAA. People were expecting big things from him with the Yankees in 2019 but he had a stress injury to his elbow in Spring training and never got it going. He returned to the minors for rehab and had a tough 3-2 5.48 season. In the COVID 2020 season he appeared a few times for the Yanks and was 1-2 7.76
So nobody was expecting much from him this season; it was almost surprising that he made the roster.
But in this game he turned everyone’s heads and all formulations of what he might be to this Yankee pitching staff. He pitched 6 shutout, 1-hit innings — using his cutter, sinker, changeup, and slider intermixed with his fastball. He got a lot of easy contact outs, and some strikeouts.
In one inning he retired the side on 5 pitches. That is special stuff.
Michael King retires 13 batters in a row. #YANKSonYES
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 4, 2021
King incredibly becomes someone you think could be a starter for this team if the big names break down. Just an amazing development for the Yankees this Easter Sunday afternoon.
3. German Not Sharp
Domingo German had a good first inning, then lost his sharpness. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.hit a homer to right to lead off the 2nd, leftfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr.singled, and then centerfielder Randal Grichuk homered to left and it was 3-1 Toronto just like that. German was lucky to get out of the 2nd, walking catcher Alejandro Kirk to drive his pitch count up to a level where Yank Manager Aaron Boone was about to take him out. But German retired 3rd baseman Cavan Biggio on a fly ball and got thru the 3rd without incident.
4. Yankee Lineup ‘Cold’
It was too late for the Yankees as the 3 runs were all Toronto needed. The Yankees situational-hitted a run across in the 5th but was all they could muster all afternoon. In that 5th, Clint Frazier led off with a fly ball double — he made it a double because he sprinted off the bat and snuck into 2nd. A Gio Urshela long fly got him to 3rd on a sac fly — barely — again it was Frazier’s running that made it happen. And then Brett Gardner grounded to second to plate the run.
Other than that the Toronto bullpen tamed the cold Yankee bats on this nice but somewhat chilly Sunday afternoon. That included former Yank David Phelps who pitched a shutout 7th (2 strikeouts). Toronto brings in Jordan Romano in the 8th, and Julian Merryweather in the 9th to close and they are both good. Merryweather struck out 2.
Aaron Judge went 0-4. Giancarlo Stanton did not play — Aaron Boone saying there is a plan in place to not have Stanton play 5 days in a row at the beginning of this season to keep him healthy. Yankee fans on twitter pointed out this was the 3rd game.