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The Unknown Rookie Pitcher, Red Thunder and the AL East

The Unknown Rookie Pitcher, Red Thunder and the AL East

Yankees vs Blue Jays at Rodgers Centre on July 12, 2012
The above photo is from a Yankees-Blue Jays matchup on July 12, 2012, won by Toronto, 10-7. Phil Hughes started and took the loss after giving up 7 runs in 4 innings. J.A. Happ started for the Jays, with Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano taking him deep, much like Gardy and Judge did yesterday. Photo credit: Jamez42.

Domingo German will try to secure a series victory for the Bronx Bombers today in Toronto against the until now unseen rookie left-hander Ryan Borucki.
 
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The Unknown Rookie Pitcher: Ryan Borucki

Back in the day (say around the mid-2000s) all you needed to quiet those monstrous pinstripe lineups was a rookie pitcher. Preferably a lefty. Their legs turned to Jello®, they’d be swinging at anything and made the kid look like Sandy Koufax. It was maddening and seemed to happen like clockwork.
 
Not by design, as the Blue Jays rotation has been a train wreck this season, the Yankees are seeing Ryan Borucki for the first time. This is the Illinois native’s third start of his inaugural MLB season. He is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA, pitching well in both outings (against Houston and Detroit). In 13 innings, he has struck out 11, walked 4, with a WHIP of 1.23.
 
Borucki brings a three-quarter arm slot delivery and relies mainly on a fastball (in the low 90s), along with a potent changeup that falls off the table, and a decent curve. One rap on him is that he can lose the plot if he starts getting hit, and he tends to nibble on the black rather than challenge hitters.
 
Drafted by Toronto in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, injuries have slowed his rise through the ranks, including having Tommy John surgery in 2013.
 

Clint Frazier, aka Red Thunder

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It will likely be a short stay once again, but Clint Frazier is getting another whack at opening eyeballs with the big club, as the left fielder gets the start today and bats 6th.
 
The Loganville, Georgia native was heisted from the Cleveland Indians in the famous Andrew Miller trade of 2016, and has been the target great anticipation by Yankee fans ever since. His 2018 campaign was set back with a concussion suffered in Spring Training, and it yet to have sufficient playing time to show his wares.
 
He was called up on May 15th, and sent down on May 21st. He was also called up on June 4th when the roster expanded for a doubleheader (against Detroit), then promptly send down. He may get a little more time this trip depending on the status of Aaron Hicks, who left yesterday’s game in the 6th inning.
 

The American League East

What an odd season. You have a 57-29 record and you’re playing for lives game in and game out. With not only the Red Sox on a roll, you have the Astros, and Mariners(!!!) a threat for best record and all-important home field advantage in the post-season.
 
If the Yankees would not have blown 22 saves last season, game 7 of the ALCS would have played out in The Bronx, and you tell me they lose that game. No way in Hell. And don’t get me started on the Aaron Hicks – Justin Verlander at-bat in game 6 again. The point is the club can’t be in that position again, and playing the remaining 76 games like they’re elimination games wouldn’t be a bad idea.
 
Let’s go Domingo. And let’s go Yankees!

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