The Yankees were coming off their World Series Game 7 of 2023 — Gerrit Cole having pitched the complete game 2-hit shutout masterpiece to nail down the Cy Young Award the night before, with Aaron Judge hitting 2 homeruns and the Yankees attaining 81 wins to guarantee at least a .500 season.
After getting that huge, clutch win — a feeling of ‘who cares’ filled the air on the aftermath game — with nothing really important left to root for besides the batting averages of individual players.
And so it was that Luke Weaver took the hill, and pitched ok — 4 innings, 2 runs — but Chris Bassitt dominated and the Yanks ‘gave one back’ to Toronto — a game the Blue Jays desperately needed to win to maintain their .5 lead on a Wild Card. Toronto 6 NY 0 on a Thursday night in Toronto.
“I thought he was really good,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards about Bassitt. “Unpredictable. He’s got so many pitches it’s hard to get a beat on what he’s doing and on top of it he was really executing tonite. Slowing us down with the big slow curveball that he was painting with. He was tough tonite.”
NY falls to 81-78. Toronto improves to 88-71.
1. Weaver Pretty Good
Luke Weaver started for the Yanks — his 3rd start in pinstripes — and was pretty good again, pitching a shutout first 2 innings before Toronto got to him in the 3rd with a leadoff homer by Daulton Varsho and a ripping double by George Springer.
Weaver then allowed a single — Springer holding at 3rd and not challenging Aaron Judge’s arm in right — and then a walk– before getting Alejandro Kirk on a line-drive fly to right. PHEW.
Weaver allowed a 346-foot homer to right by Matt Chapman in the 4th and left after 4 innings — 2 runs allowed. Not bad — in fact pretty good. He showed moxie and a live fastball.
“Obviously a pitch that got away from me with Varsho, and the Chapman homerun was just an impressive swing,” said Weaver afterwards. “Kept the one inning in tact there, kept the game close and got some strikeouts — so all in all it obviously wasn’t perfect but I think there were a lot of good things that came thru the outing.”
Gerrit Cole was seen talking to Weaver in the dugout in between innings. When asked what they were talking about, Weaver said, “Favorite movies, books, tv shows. He’s just obviously a pretty good pitcher. He takes on that role to help — I don’t feel like a young guy but a guy seeking to come into his best years — and what a great guy to learn from.”
2. Weissert & McAllister Hit
The game got away from the Yanks in the 6th when Zach McAllister came in and allowed a 1-out walk, single, and then a 3-run homerun to Brandon Belt for a 6-0 Toronto lead.
3. Bassitt Great
On the other was Chris Bassitt and he was dominant, pitching 7.2 innings of 5-hit shutout ball, striking out 12 and walking 1.
Bassitt scattered the 5 hits and walk that he allowed.
- Giancarlo Stanton ripped a 1-out double in the 2nd but was stranded.
- In the 3rd inning, Estevan Florial used his speed to beat out an infield single with 1 out, and stole 2nd base, which caused Toronto to intentionally walk Aaron Judge with 2 outs. But with 1st and 2nd, Bassitt struck out Gleyber Torres.
- In the 5th, Everson Pereira got a 1-out single but didn’t move from 1st.
- In the 6th, Austin Wells got a 2-out infield single.
- Oswaldo Cabrera led off the 7th with a single but Bassitt struck out the next 2 batters and then a foul out.
4. Bassitt Did What Rodon Was Supposed to Do for NY
Bassitt got the first 2 outs in the 8th before being relieved. He goes to 16-8 3.60 on the year — a wonderful pickup for Toronto this winter.
Bassitt did for Toronto what Carlos Rodon was supposed to do for NY. Bassitt went 15-9 3.42 for the Mets last year. Toronto signed the 34-year-old 6’5 right hander to a 3-year contract at $22M a year.
The Yankees let Jameson Taillon go last winter after he went 14-5 2.91 for them last year while Rodon went 14-8 2.88 for San Fran. Taillon is 8-10 4.97 this year for the Cubs; Rodon has pitched well his last 3 starts after missing most of the season with injury, and then having a rough first few starts back. Rodon is 3-7 5.74 with 1 start left.
5. Gomez Gets 1st Appearance As Yank
Yoendrys Gomez made his first appearance for the Yankees — pitching a shutout 7th and 8th — striking out 4 batters, including Guerrero Jr swinging with 2 on to end the 8th.
The 6’3 righthander is still only 23 years old. He was signed by the Yankees when he was 16, and has finally made it to the bigs after 7 years in the minors that got way-layed by Tommy John surgery in 2021. The Yanks have thought highly enough of him to protect him in the Rule 5 draft in 2020.
“For a young player he’s been through a lot with injury ups and downs,” said Boone afterwards. “But he’s definitely a guy with a lot of talent and someone we’re excited about. So it’s good to get him in there and see him have success.”
6. Yank Mini Rally in 9th
Tim Mayza got the first 2 outs in the 9th, but then Oswaldo Cabrera reached on an infield single — his 2nd hit of the night — and Anthony Volpe doubled — before Everson Pereira grounded out for the old ballgame.
It was a successful game as far as the young Yankees improving individual stats:
- Estevan Florial continues to look good this September. He got the infield hit to go 1-3 and raise his average to .255 (.350 OBP).
- Oswaldo Cabrera went 2-4 to raise his average to .216 (.282 OBP).
- Anthony Volpe went 1-4 to bring his average to .207 (.283 OBP).
- Everson Pereira went 1-4 to raise his average to .160 (.244 OBP)
- Austin Wells went 1-4 to raise his average to .194 (.227 OBP).