Going into the bottom of the 7th there were no Yankee highlights in this game. Not a single one. By that time, Toronto led 5-0 and Corey Kluber had left the game with a shoulder issue after 3 innings — leaving the rest of the game meaningless. An anxious Yankee fanbase waited for the worst — as it was announced Kluber would undergo an MRI the next day due to shoulder soreness.
Finally, late in the game, the Yankees picked up some highlights and hopefully some decent news to sleep on. But they still lost 6-2 to Toronto, on a beautiful, warm, 75-degree May Tuesday evening with a full moon out in the Bronx.
1. The Kluber Shoulder
This was his first start after the no hitter, and Kluber wasn’t sharp from the 1st inning — after striking out the first two batters of the game, he got a bit wild and was walking batters. He walked the red hot Vladimir Guerrero Jr.on 4 pitches in the 1st inning. This, Yankee fans assumed, was because Kluber wanted no part of Guerrero, who has been bashing the American League to the tune of 15 homers and a .333 batting average coming in. But then Kluber walked Teoscar Hernandez before getting the final out on a popup.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 25, 2021
In the 2nd, Kluber walked the leadoff batter Rowdy Tellez, before getting the next 3 outs. And remember Kluber had pitched a no hitter his last start so Yankee Twitter was starting to speculate as he had a no hitter again through 2 inning despite not being crisp.
In the 3rd, Bo Bichette reached on an infield single with one out, breaking up the no hitter, and moved to 2nd on a bad pickoff throw by Kluber. With a runner on 2nd and 1 out — and 1st base empty — Kluber did not walk Vladimir Guerrero Jr.— and Guerrero ripped the 3rd pitch to him for a homer to right and a 2-0 Toronto lead.
Vladdy's got POP 💥
You don't want the Smoke 😤 pic.twitter.com/EKwhbhgDo8
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 25, 2021
Kluber got the final two outs of the inning but left after that — 3 innings, 2 runs.
Little Bit of Possible Good News, Maybe
Afterwards — a very little bit of good news: Kluber said that last year, when he blew out the shoulder, it was a more localized pain. Tonite it was more of a general inability to get the shoulder loose, starting in the bullpen. And so as not to push it, they made a decision for him to come out, and that they’re waiting on MRI tomorrow to see if it’s anything structural.
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 26, 2021
Said Aaron Boone: “The physical exam was pretty good tonite, so instead of speculating, hopefully we’ll get some answers tomorrow, and hopefully it’s just some tightness he was experiencing tonite that he couldn’t work through.” When asked, Boone said the physical exam was with trainers and Dr Ahmad in the clubhouse.
So many pitchers come down with arm injuries after pitching no hitters, but Kluber threw 101 pitches in the no hitter; not a ton of pitches.
2. King Pitched Pretty Well Again
3. Former Met Matz Stars
Meanwhile former Met Steven Matz mowed down the Yankees, pitching a shutout into the 7th — finishing with 6.2 innings of 6 hit ball, striking out 10 and walking none. “Matz had a good fastball and cutter combination tonite and really held us down,” said Aaron Boone afterwards.
The game broke open in the top of the 5th — Lucas Luetge got the 1st out of the inning, then allowed 3 straight singles to load the bases. Santiago Espinal hit a ground ball to shortstop that Gleyber Torres made a throwing error on allowing 2 runs to score. Luetge then struck out the last 2 batters of the inning but the damage was done.
4. Yankee Highlight #1
Finally the Yankees got a highlight in the bottom of the 7th off Matz — Clint Frazier doubled with 2 outs for his 2nd hit of the game — he went 2 for 3, after going 3 for 4 with 2 stolen bases the previous game — to raise his average to .183 (.299 OBP). Kyle Higashioka then doubled to score Frazier and make it 5-1 Toronto, knocking out Matz.
Brett Gardner then walked, and the Yanks were a bomb away from being back in the game — with last year’s home run champ at the plate in Luke Voit. But with 1st and 2nd, 2 out Voit grounded back to the pitcher Tyler Chatwood.
5. Yankee Highlight #2
Gio Urshela ➡️ Rougned Odor!
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 26, 2021
6. Yankee Highlight #3
With 2 outs in the 9th, Kyle Higoshioka doubled in Rougned Odor who had walked to make it 6-2. Higgy went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .200.
Aaron Judge went 1 for 3 with a walk and is now at .308 with a .409 OBP.
If Kluber’s shoulder is ok, the loss means little; the highlight of the evening will have been that Kluber is ok — but we won’t know that until the results of the MRI tomorrow.