‘Twas a tale of two games. The Yankees started off Tuesday night’s game firing on all cylinders. Michael Pineda was throwing well, Gary Sanchez hit two home runs and New York built an early six-run lead.
Then the rain came. A 42-minute delay halted play in the middle of the fifth, long enough to force Pineda from the game and apparently lull the home team to sleep. New York’s completely revamped bullpen showed its cracks and the Blue Jays took advantage in a 12-6 loss, with help from an eight-run eighth.
Anthony Swarzak, Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve were each charged with four runs in the contest, leaving Yankees fans longing for Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Though, in the long run, the #SellSellSell moves will probably bring much better tidings.
There really wasn’t much more to this game, other than the second coming of The Sanchize in New York. But we’ll get to that later.
THE PLAY: WET MARTIN-I (+.353 WPA)
Russell Martin has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side since joining the Blue Jays, and Tuesday night was no different. Martin hit two home runs against the New York bullpen, with his second breaking a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning. The Blue Jays would not look back after coming back from a 6-0 deficit. Since joining Blue Jays last season, Russell Martin has four multi-HR games, three of which have come at Yankee Stadium.
Blue Jays — Troy Tulowitzki: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR
Yankees — Gary Sanchez: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI
— Tuesday was just Pineda’s second start all season where he did not allow a run, the other coming on July 20 in six scoreless against the Orioles. Pineda threw just 68 pitches in the rain-shortened start against Toronto, tossing five innings while allowing four hits and striking out two.
— Warren had not given up a run in his return as a Yankee before Tuesday, but he did not fare so well in the eighth inning. In a 27-pitch outing where he only recorded one out, Warren was charged with his four runs thanks to homers by Edwin Encarnacion and Martin.
— Lost in all the madness was a solid night for Didi Gregorius. The Yankee shortstop started off the scoring in the first inning with a solo shot and then added an RBI single for New York’s sixth run of the night. Gregorius has been a solid presence all season in the Yankee lineup and should look to build on his success in 2017.
After the game, Sanchez spoke about what his first multi-HR game meant to him in a lengthy, eloquent speech. Here is that speech.
THE HIGHLIGHT: GARY COMES HOME
Before the rain delay ruined everyone’s hopes and dreams, Gary Sanchez continued to demonstrate that Yankees fans have a lot to look forward to in the future. In the fourth inning, Sanchez launched his second of two home runs on the night into the second deck in left field, bringing home three and giving the Yankees a 5-0 lead. Sanchez recorded his first career multi-HR game and his third and fourth home runs of the season.
The Yankees wrap up their series against Toronto at 1:05 p.m. C.C. Sabathia (7-9, 4.20 ERA) will face MLB wins leader J.A. Happ (16-3, 2.96 ERA) in a battle of initialed first names.
Photo: Brad Penner / USA Today Sports