Yanks Build 9-2 Lead & Survive. NY 9 Toronto 8

Clay Holmes struck out George Springer on 3 pitches in the 9th with the tying run on 1st to quell a 3-run Blue Jay rally and give NY a 9-8 win in the Bronx on a Saturday night.

The Yankees needed every bit of a giddy 9-2 lead they had built in the first 6 innings, with a monster-mash of hitting — homers by Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo, and multiple RBI singles by Juan Soto. NY had knocked out Yankee nemesis Kevin Gausman in the 2nd inning, putting 6 runs on the board by then.

But the Blue Jays got 3 in the 7th off Luke Weaver, and ripped Ian Hamilton for 3 runs in the 9th to make it as close as close can be.

“Good to break through there,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Gausman who is obviously really, really tough didn’t have his best stuff tonite. On a cold night I think it was tough for pitchers to get into rhythm and get into that good groove. It was good to see us kind of pile on a little bit there early on. Hopefully this is something that will jump start a Few guys.”

NY improves to 7-2 and are in 1st place by a game over Boston.

1. Yanks Put on Monster Mash Against Gausman

Kevin Gausman has given the Yankees trouble in the past — when his off-speed pitch is off-speeding, he is tough to beat. He uses an 82-MPH splitter to get lots of ground outs, which makes his 92-MPH four-seam fastball play up. Last year Gausman was 3rd in Cy Young voting in the American League with a 12-9 3.16 record for the Jays, after going 12-10 3.35 the year before, and 14-6 2.81 the year before that for the Giants.

But not this game.

Juan Soto worked a 1-out walk in the bottom of the 1st, and Aaron Judge hit an 0-2 splitter into the bullpens in left for a 2-0 Yankee lead.

Anthony Rizzo flied out but Giancarlo Stanton ripped a first-pitch, 91-MPH four-seam fastball just over the fence into the seats in opposite-field right for a 3-0 Yankee lead.

2. Yanks Knock Out Gausman in 2nd

Anthony Volpe seemingly struck out to lead off the bottom of the 2nd, but the umps ruled catcher Brian Serven‘s glove tipped his bat so Volpe was awarded 1st base on Catcher’s Interference.

Volpe promptly stole 2nd base.

Austin Wells worked a walk and Oswaldo Cabrera singled to right to load the bases.

Gleyber Torres hit a sac fly to make it 4-0 NY.

Catcher Servin then allowed a passed ball, scoring Austin Wells to make it 5-0 NY.

And Luis Soto singled in Cabrera by ripping a 3-0 fastball to right. NY 6 Toronto 0.

Aaron Judge followed with a single, before Anthony Rizzo ended the inning with a double play. It would be Gausman’s last batter; he was relieved after the inning by Mitch White who would pitch 4.1 innings.

3. Schmidt Spotty in the Cold — Doesn’t Get the Win

But Yankee starter Clarke Schmidt was not on his game either on the cold evening.

  • Schmidt allowed a leadoff double to George Springer to start the game, then got groundout, strikeout, groundout to strand him.
  • In the 2nd inning, Schmidt pitched around a 1-out double, striking out 2.

  • In the 3rd, Schmidt allowed a single, walk, 1-out single in the 3rd to load the bases — and then got out of it with sac fly by Josh Turner, and fly out of Vogelbach. Phew. NY 6 Toronto 1.
  • In the 4th, Schmidt got into more trouble — a leadoff double, groundout, walk, groundout made it NY 6 Toronto 2. Schmidt allowed another single before getting the final out of the inning.
  • Schmidt walked the first batter of the 5th before getting a groundout and being relieved at 91 pitches. Despite the 6-2 lead he would not get the win.

“Clarke was good…”, said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Again, I think it was a tough night a little bit to pitch. So his pitch count kind of got away there a little bit. Had a couple of walks where he had a chance to put some guys away at the bottom of the lineup; had some count leverage but ended up losing them. Didn’t give up a ton of hard contact; and the hits he gave up I think he was a little bit unlucky. But wasn’t quite as sharp with his command.”

In came Luke Weaver — for the 3rd time this season relieving a Yankee starter with a lead in the 5th to get the win!

Weaver got the last two outs of the inning.

4. Rizzo Insurance Bomb in 5th

Top of the 5th Aaron Judge led off with a walk against Mitch White, and Anthony Rizzo pounced on a 1-1 slider, hitting it into the right-field seats just inside the foul pole for an 8-2 Yankee lead. You felt at the time the Yanks needed that — and if you felt that you would’ve been right.

5. Soto with Eventual Game-Winning RBI Single in 6th

Gleyber Torres worked a 2-out walk in the bottom of the 6th against Mitch White, causing the Jays to bring in Mayza.

Gleyber stole 2nd and Juan Soto ripped a 1-1 slider to right for a giddy 9-2 Yankee lead.

6. Jays Get to Weaver in 7th

The hard-hitting Jays got to Weaver in the top of the 7th.

  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr.led off with a homer, and while rounding 3rd, putting his finger over his mouth to mime “be quiet” to the Yankee Stadium crowd. Toronto was down 9-4 at the time so it seemed misplaced.
  • Bo Bichette followed with a double, Josh Turner walked, and Daniel Vogelbach doubled in a run to make it 9-5 NY.
  • Ernie Clement — the hero of the prior game with the game-winning HR — hit a sac fly for the first out of the inning. It was 9-6 NY with Vogelbach on 2nd and still only 1 out.

Victor Gonzalez came in for the Yankees, and got Davis Schneider to ground the ball to Anthony Volpe at shortstop, who got Vogelbach in a run-down play at 3rd — Vogelbach with a bad bit of baserunning to help the Yanks.

Finally, the Yanks got pinch-hitter Alejandro Kirk to groundout for the final out of the inning but it was a ballgame again.

7. Hamilton Ripped; Holmes Saves Him & Yanks

Gonzalez got the first 2 outs of the 8th, but walked a batter and was relieved by Ian Hamilton who got Bo Bichette to ground out.

But in the 9th, Hamilton allowed a leadoff single to Josh Turner, walked Vogelbach, got a groundout of Clement, and then allowed an RBI double to center by Schneider and it was a 9-6 game with 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

In came Clay Holmes.

Holmes went 3-2 on the hard-hitting Alejandro Kirk before getting him to ground out, scoring a run to make it 9-7.

Two outs; runner on 3rd.

Holmes went 2-2 on Cavan Biggio and was a strike away from a win — when Biggio singled to center for a 9-8 game.

George Springer — homerun hitter — to the plate as the go-ahead run.

Holmes threw 3 straight strikes — a slider and two straight sweepers — Springer swung and missed at the last two for the old ballgame.


  • Giancarlo Stanton went 3-4 on the night, and could be seen with a big smile on his face, joking around a bit, while on 1st base after his 2nd hit. He looked happy.

The Boxscore



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