Wild & Easy Win. Reasons Why NY 8 Toronto 4 on 6-17-21

A triple play, wacky baserunning blunders and bad defense by the Blue Jays, a tremendous defensive play and homerun by Gio Urshela, a game-saving catch over the wall of a home run ball by Aaron Judge, a laser home run by Giancarlo Stanton, and a clutch, 2-out, 2-RBI line-drive hit by rookie Chris Gittens highlighted this wild Yankee win, which in the end seemed ‘easy’.

An easy win.

New York sweeps Toronto to go 36-32 — and the Rays lost later in the evening to Seattle, so the Yanks pull to within 6 games of 1st place Tampa, 5.5 behind 2nd-place Boston.

1. The Triple Play

The game featured wacky baserunning blunders and bad defense by Toronto. If you looked up “Blue Jays” on Twitter in about the 3rd inning, it wasn’t pretty as Toronto fans wanted everyone fired and a complete shakeup of the team. Sound familiar?

Michael King started for NY and ran into immediate trouble in the 1st — as he often does before settling down. He walked Marcus Semien, and Bo Bichette reached on an infield single. King then threw a wild pitch to put 2nd and 3rd, nobody out.

Vladimir Guererro Jr. then hit a chopper to King — and Semien stayed on 3rd but Bichette ran to 3rd — causing a problem on 3rd. King threw to 1st for the out and then DJ LeMahieu threw to 2nd to get Bichette in a rundown — but Semien broke for home so the Yanks threw him out and then Bichette broke for 3rd and the Yanks threw him out too. A 1-3-6-2-5-6 triple play. Had to be the first time ever.

2.  Poor Toronto Defense Give Yanks Lead

Toronto followed up the bad baserunning with bad defense in the top of the 2nd. Gio Urshela led off with a double and Brett Gardner got an infield single putting 1st and 3rd nobody out.

Miguel Andujar hit a dribble back to the pitcher T.J. Zeuch, who threw to 1st and threw it away for a 1-0 Yankee lead. Toronto almost made another error on the next play, nearly throwing the ball away on a rundown of Gardner between 3rd and home. In the 4th they made another error on a grounder to Semien that allowed DJ LeMahieu to get on. The game took on the aura of Toronto as Bad News Bears.

3. Gio Homer

Gio Urshela followed up on his 2nd inning double by GOLFING a pitch into the night air and out of the ballpark in the 3rd to give NY a 3-0 lead.

4. Gio Defense

Gio Urshela added to his heroics in the bottom of the 4th with ANOTHER Graig Nettles-esq play to rob a hit — a snare of a line drive down the 3rd base line and then the great throw to 1st to nab the runner. These will be called Gio Urshela plays to a future generation.

5. King Lifted Too Early; Toronto Ties It

Michael King allowed a walk, double, single in the 3rd for 2 Toronto runs and a 3-2 Yankee lead — but sandwiched that with a 1-2-3 2nd and 1-2-3 4th. In the 5th, he allowed a 1-out single and was lifted by Aaron Boone for lefty Lucas Luetge with a lefty batter Reese McGuire coming up.

It seemed too soon as King was settling in and was only at 60 pitches — he had pitched 63, 67, and 69 pitches in the 3 previous starts in a climb up to being stretched for 70 pitches, and had pitched 67 and 69 pitches early in the season. King also has had trouble early in starts but then settles in and pitches better as the game goes on.

Luetge came in an allowed a fly ball to the wall in left that Miguel Andujar badly muffed for a ‘double’. A groundout by Marcus Semien tied the score 3-3.

6. Toronto Takes Lead; Judge Is Superman

In the bottom of the 6th Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off with an infield single. Chad Green came in and allowed a single to center by centerfielder Randal Grichuk, scoring Guerrero to put Toronto up 4-3.

Cavan Biggio then hit a high drive to right for what looked like a 2-run homer and 6-3 Toronto lead and possibly the ballgame but Aaron Judge ran over, leaped above the wall to snare the homer for an out — then threw a strike to 1st base and just missed doubling the runner.


7. Stanton Blast Put Yanks Back on Top

With NY down 4-3 and the gloom of wasted opportunities setting in, Anthony Castro came in to pitch the 7th for Toronto and allowed a leadoff single to Rougned OdorGiancarlo Stanton then righted the ship with a snap-of-the-wrists rocket to right for a 5-4 Yankee lead.

8. Gittens with HUGE Insurance RBI’s

Castro allowed two more singles before leaving — 4 batters faced — single homer single single. Tim Mayza came in and got 2 outs. With 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs Chris Gittens pinch hit and ripped a 3-2 pitch for an RBI single to the opposite field for 2 huge insurance runs and a 7-4 Yankee lead. HUGE.

9. Yank Bullpen Mows ‘Em Down

Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Green in the 7th and pitched shutout ball through the 8th, lowering his ERA to 1.70. There are many Yankee fans banging the drum for him to be on the All Star team, and the NY Post’s early-season comparison of him to Mariano Rivera is starting to look not so crazy.

Zach Britton pitched a shutout 9th for the old ballgame.


  • Gio Urshela went 3-5 to raise his average to .269. His slash line is 8-29-.269 (.313 OBP; .749 OPS).
  • The Yanks lead the league in regulars batting in the 260’s — LeMahieu is at .261, Stanton is at  .265, Torres is at .260. Miguel Andujar went 0-4 to drop to .254.
  • Aaron Judge (1-4) leads NY with a .281 average (and .379 OBP).
  • Gleyber Torres left the game after injuring his back on a double play.
  • Gary Sanchez, after the heroics of the last two games, went 1-4 with a walk and scored 2 runs. He is now slashing 10-22-.229 (.333 OBP, .785 OPS). He is 3rd in the American League amongst starting catchers in OBP, 5th in batting average, and 4th in wRC+.

The Boxscore


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