The Yankees’ offensive ineptitude reached a new low on Saturday, as the team was shut out for a third consecutive game, falling 3-0 to the Blue Jays. The loss drops the team to 79-75, four games out of the second American League wild card spot with just eight games left to play, essentially extinguishing what were already extremely long odds to make the postseason.
The team spoiled a fine outing by starter CC Sabathia, in which he shut down a dangerous Toronto lineup for seven shutout innings, scattering four hits and walking three. Matching him frame for frame was Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, however, who despite not being overbearing (five strikeouts and three walks) allowed just one hit over seven innings.
Attempting to outlast the Toronto offense is a dangerous game, as the Yankees found out in the eighth inning. With Tyler Clippard on in relief of Sabathia, the Jays picked up a pair of two-out baserunners on a Josh Donaldson single and Edwin Encarnacion walk. A batter later, Toronto turned a scoreless tie into a 3-0 lead, as Jose Bautista teed off for a three-run shot that sailed well over the left-field wall.
Roberto Osuna set the Yankee lineup down in the ninth, sealing the win for Toronto.
The Play: Joey bats one over the wall (+.380 WPA)
Clippard’s pitch caught way too much of the plate. Bautista capitalized, as he is wont to do. The ball left his bat at 111 mph and traveled 402 feet, breaking the scoreless tie and putting Toronto on top 3-0.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K)
Blue Jays: Jose Bautista (1 for 4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI)
-The Yankees had not been shut out in three consecutive games since 1975. It is only the sixth time in team history that it has happened.
-According to Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, the MLB record for most consecutive shutouts is four, accomplished by the Cubs in 1992. This is history the Yankees want no part of.
-Ronald Torreyes’ triple in the eighth inning was just the second extra-base hit for the Yankees in their last three games. It was the fourth triple of the year for Torreyes, trailing only Gardner (6) and Ellsbury (5) on the team.
“We’ve used different people. The guys just have to fight their way out of it, that’s all.” -Manager Joe Girardi on the offensive struggles
The Highlight: Sabathia goes seven strong
The only thing even resembling a Yankee highlight was Sabathia, who despite striking out only two, was able to keep the Jays’ hitter off-balance and off the scoreboard for seven strong innings. Unfortunately for the Yankees, you do need to score at least once in order to win.
The Yankees will meet Toronto for the third game of their four-game set tomorrow, sending Michael Pineda to the mound. Pineda has posted a 4.89 ERA over 165 and 2/3 innings in 2016. Attempting to continue the Yankees’ scoreless streak will be Marco Estrada, who has a 3.62 ERA in 164 innings. Game time is 1:07 PM.
Lead photo: Dan Hamilton / USA Today Sports