Yankees Fall to Jays Despite Solid Outing from Severino

The Yankees won 4-3 in Game 1 and 4-1 in Game 2, thanks to Carlos Beltran’s 3-run home run in the eighth inning and Masahiro Tanaka’s five-hit complete game, respectively. The Yankees wins over the last two days have allowed them to take a 1.5-game lead in the American League East into Sunday’s game. The Yankees sent phenom Luis Severino (0-1, 2.45 ERA) to the hill to counter Toronto’s Drew Hutchison (11-2, 5.26 ERA). Hutchison has led the majors with nearly 8 runs of run support per outing, which explained his high ERA but excellent record. However, in his last eight home starts, he was 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA, so his dominance in Rogers Centre wasn’t necessarily based off run support.

Game 3 (Sunday, August 16) - New York Yankees 1 @ Toronto Blue Jays 3
1st Inning
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the game but was caught stealing for the third out of the inning. In the bottom half, Luis Severino walked Jose Bautista with two out and balked to move him to second, but then picked off Bautista to end the inning.
2nd Inning
The Yankees went down in order. Severino struck out two on his way to a problemless inning.
3rd Inning
Drew Hutchison set the Yankees down in order for the second consecutive inning. In the bottom of the third and with two outs, Troy Tulowitzki hit a fly ball to right field but Carlos Beltran lost it in the sun! A huge error (the official scorer turned into a double later) that gave the Blue Jays life! Tulowitzki ended up on second and the next batter, Josh Donaldson, singled to right to give Toronto the 1-0 lead. Then, Jose Bautista destroyed a Severino hanging slider and deposited it beyond the left center wall and Toronto had a 3-0 lead after three innings.
4th Inning
Even though Alex Rodriguez walked with two outs, the Yankees didn’t threaten. In the bottom half, Russell Martin walked and Ryan Goins singled. However, Kevin Pillar’s lineout to center led to a double play as Martin believed the baseball would drop! Martin was doubled off at second to end the inning.
5th Inning
Carlos Beltran grounded into a 3-6-3 double play to erase Brian McCann’s hit-by-pitch. The Yankees had one hit in the first five innings against Drew Hutchison. Severino recorded his seventh strikeout on Jose Bautista to end the fifth inning.
6th Inning
With two out and none on, Jacoby Ellsbury put the Yankees on the scoreboard with a DEEEEP home run to right field for his sixth of the year. However, the Yankees still trailed 3-1. In the bottom half of the 6th, Severino completed his 104-pitch outing with a 1-2-3 inning and recorded his eighth and ninth strikeout in the 6th as well. Severino has improved outing-by-outing and his outings are getting fun to watch.
7th Inning
Brian McCann’s bloop double into right center with two out pushed Hutchison out of the game. Two out and McCann was on second as Brett Cecil came in to face Carlos Beltran. Beltran flied out and the inning and threat was over. Chasen Shreve relieved Severino to start the 7th. Shreve walked Goins and Pillar singled, but Revere’s bunt was too strong as Shreve threw to third for the force out. Shreve’s day was over as Warren entered with men on first and second, but now with one out. Warren struck out Tulowitzki and got Donaldson to ground out sharply to Headley. The Yankees trailed 3-1 after seven innings.
8th Inning
Aaron Sanchez entered to start the 8th. Yankee fans remember him because he gave up the huge, pinch-hit, three-run home run to Carlos Beltran on his fourth pitch of the night in Friday’s game. No issue for him today, however, and a 1-2-3 inning to set down the Yankees in order. Warren came back out for the 8th and retired the Blue Jays without issue.
9th Inning
Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna came in to start the 9th and worked around a Gardner single to record the save and the win for Toronto.

Player of the Game: Jose Bautista (1-3, HR, 2 RBI) - his 2-run HR was the difference in the game
Notable Performance: Luis Severino - 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 9 SO
MY TAKES
1. The Yankees finally stole a base in Saturday’s game. Brett Gardner recorded his first steal since June 12 but Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t stolen one since going on the disabled list earlier this year. The Yankees offense reaches another dimension if they can steal, so long as the baserunners don’t run themselves into outs.
2. Yankee fans everywhere have developed a love-hate relationship for Carlos Beltran. His go-ahead, 3-run pinch-hit home run helped the Yankees beat the Blue Jays in Game 1 but his error in the third inning of Game 3 led to Severino’s three runs given up there.
3. Carlos Beltran is probably the only player that’s “hot” right now. He’s batting over .400 in the last seven games.
4. The Yankees offense recorded 26 hits in 103 at-bats (.252) and an on-base percentage of .301. This is an improvement from the cold streak the Yankees had but still not as good as they could be with this prolific offense of A-Rod, Teixeira, and McCann.
5. The Yankees pitching has been excellent as of late. The Yankees allowed 7 earned runs in 26 innings (2.42 ERA) and only 18 hits in this series. The pitching is the one facet of the team that has not regressed since the All-Star break and turn of the month from July to August.
6. Alex Rodriguez continues to struggle - he went 1-8 in this series and did not play Saturday. Perhaps the dog days of August and father time is catching up to him, but he provides a spark to this offense that no one else can so the Yankees need him to get back on track quickly.
7. The Yankees take a 0.5-game lead in the American League East into Monday and the series with the Twins. With Toronto on a road trip, the Yankees need to capitalize and extend their lead. The Yankees are getting back on track right now but still have a long ways to go in terms of improving their offense in order to match its production from earlier in the year.
8. Luis Severino pitched lights-out today, allowing only 3 earned runs (Beltran’s dropped fly ball was ruled a double) and striking out 9. He’s struck out 18 in 17 innings pitched this year and has held hitters to only a .222 batting average.

LOOKING FORWARD
The Yankees return to the Bronx and immediately start a 3-game set with the Minnesota Twins. In Game 1 on Monday, CC Sabathia (4-9, 5.23 ERA) faces Kyle Gibson (8-9, 3.75 ERA) with first pitch at 7:05 PM ET. Game 2 features Nathan Eovaldi against Mike Pelfrey in a 7:05 PM ET start and Game 3 features Ervin Santana against Ivan Nova in a 1:05 PM ET start. The Yankees must continue to do well in the American League East as Minnesota is fighting for a Wild Card spot. Toronto faces Philadelphia for 2 games in Philadelphia but because the Phillies have not played well this year, the Yankees need to win against the Twins to avoid losing ground in the division.

Article by: Bryan Peng
Twitter: @bpeng7

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