A Yankee fan growing up, Brett Cecil wasn’t very kind to the team for which he used to root. The young Jays lefty kept the Yankees off balance for most of the game with a dynamic changeup, which he threw a relatively high 28 times, including 19 times for strikes (mostly swinging). With the exception of a few hard hit balls, the Yankees were mostly unable to adjust to Cecil’s off speed approach, which also included 30 sliders.
AJ Burnett would have been wise to take a page from Cecil because the Jays made him pay for several poorly located fastballs. Burnett did throw more curves than usual (40% versus 24% for the season), but his inability to get ahead in the count left him in too many predictable hitters counts. As a result, the fastball happy Jays made him pay, driving in all six runs off old number one.
Coming into the game, AJ Burnett had only allowed four HRs, but by the end of the day he had nearly doubled that total to seven. Most of the damage was done by Jose Bautista, who belted two round trippers on fastballs down the middle: one on a 3-2 count leading off the second and the other at 2-0 with a runner on in the fourth. Coming into the game, Bautista ranked eight in the American League in runs above average produced on the fastball (11.8), so the pitch selection was curious to say the least. Nonetheless, Bautista’s two homeruns boosted his league leading total to 18 and set a new career high in the process.
The Yankees did have two chances to make a dent in Cecil’s armor, but were thwarted by a double play each time. In the fourth inning, a Swisher walk and Mark Teixeira single put runners on first and second with no outs, but Arod followed with a hard smash up the middle the short stop Alex Gonzalez impressively turned into a double play. Then, in the sixth inning, Nick Swisher hit into a twin killing that scored Chad Moeller with the Yankees only run. Otherwise, the Yankees’ offense was punchless against the crafty Cecil.
Despite AJ Burnett’s frustrating pitch selection, the Yankees can’t kick themselves over this one. Cecil pitched a great game and even had some luck to boot. The Jays, however, really needed to make a strong showing. After blowing consecutive games to the Rays, another loss in the division could have introduced some doubts about the team’s staying power. Now, the onus is placed on the Yankees to even the series by playing a better game against better competition.
- By going 0-4, Robin Cano’s 17-game hitting streak came to an end.
- Cecil’s 1-run, 8-inning performance was his second of the season, the other occurring on May 3 versus the Indians.
- With three homeruns, the Jays increased their league leading total to 94. The franchise record for most homeruns is 244, which was established in 2000.