The story wrote itself. Vlad Guerrero Jr singled with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th to walk off the win for the Blue Jays, keeping the Yankees from clinching the AL East title on Toronto’s home turf. After the walk off celebration Guerrero could be seen strutting on the field, pointing downward, shouting, “This is my house!”
Yankee Twitter immediately exploded with the question — why didn’t they intentionally walk Guerrero? Clarke Schmidt had come in with the inherited runner on 2nd, and struck out George Springer and got Bo Bichette on a fly; he had 2 bases open. Alejandro Kirk was due up next.
Conversely, in the top of the inning, the Yanks had 1st and 2nd with 2 outs, and Toronto intentionally walked Aaron Judge to load the bases — putting their reliever Tim Mayza in a tight situation. He got Anthony Rizzo to groundout.
The loss moves the Yanks to 94-59, 7.5 ahead of Toronto with 9 games to play.
“We treat every single game as a post season game,” said Aaron Judge afterwards. “First game of the year to this game tonite.”
Aaron Judge went 1 for 3 with 2 walks. He was called out on strikes in the 6th on a pitch that seemed too low. Judge remains in 1st in the AL batting title:
1. Judge, Rizzo, Gleyber Put Yanks Up
Aaron Judge led off the game with a single to deep right off Kevin Gausman, who came in with a 12-10 3.32 record.
Anthony Rizzo followed with a double, and Gleyber Torres hit a sac fly and it was 1-0 NY just like that.
2. Kiner-Falefa Bomb Makes It 2-0 NY
Isiah Kiner-Falefa stroked a 404-foot homer to left in the top of the 2nd, to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. Falefa, who went so much of the year with 0 homeruns, now slashes 4-48-.265 (.318 OBP) — exactly in line with his career average per 162 games of 6-51-.265 (.316 OBP).
IKF to left 🚀 pic.twitter.com/rAxc3S6ewz
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 26, 2022
After that Gausman settled down, and ended up pitching into the 7th, allowing only the 2 runs.
3. Severino Pitched Well
Luis Severino pitched shutout ball through the first 3 innings, and entered the 4th with a 2-0 lead. But in the 4th, leadoff single by Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. then a walk to Alejandro Kirk loaded the bases with nobody out.
With 2nd and 3rd and still only 1 out, Severino then got tough and got a pop out and strike out to end the inning.
“I feel like I was commanding all my pitches,” said Severino afterwards. “I feel that I was competing tonite. I feel good. I made a mistake around the plate, and Hernandez took advantage of that, scored two runs there.”
Severino was lifted after 4 innings, with 74 pitches thrown.
“I thought Sevy pitched well again,’ said manager Aaron Boone afterwards.
4. Yank Bullpen Does Well
The Yankee bullpen did well against the tough Toronto lineup — pitching shutout ball for the 5th thru 9th innings.
- Lou Trivino pitched a shutout 5th
- Scott Effros pitched a 1-2-3 shutout 6th
- Ron Marinaccio got 2 outs sandwiching a single in the 7th, but an error allowed 2 on with 1 out. Marinaccio was bailed out by Jonathan Loaisiga who got strikeout, groundout to end the 7th
- Jonathan Loaisiga pitched 1.2 innings of shutout ball
- Clay Holmes pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning
And then Clarke Schmidt pitched the 9th — getting the 1st two outs before yielding the single to Guerrero for the old ballgame.