Yanks Play Into Play-In Game Race

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Ivan Nova strikes out six over 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks at Rogers Centre on September 23, 2015

Game 151 / 83-68 / 2nd / -3.5 GB : It was an emotionally draining day from start to finish. First, the news on Yogi. Then a torturous game on the turf of Rogers Centre, where the Yanks fell to the Blue Jays, 4-0. Barring an unlikely collapse by Toronto in the final 11 games — and the unlikely assumption that the reliably inconsistent Yankees will run the table, the division crown in 2015 will have been earned by the Blue Jays.

Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 0

Martin Haunts Yanks

  • Nova Shines   In his first outing since being relegated to the bullpen on September 12th, Ivan Nova delivered his best performance of the year — keeping the powerful Toronto offense off the board for 5.2 innings. It wasn’t always pretty, lots of runners in scoring position but he got the big outs when needed. Great sign for a beleaguered pitching staff that needs all the help it can get right now.
  • No Hitters   Alex Rodriguez before play tonight was in a 3-19 slump … Chase Headley was 2-33 before ripping a single in the top of the 7th …
  • Clutch Defense   A sprinting grab by Brett Gardner off the bat of Ben Revere with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th prevented a disastrous inning, and kept the score at 1-0 Blue Jays.
  • Middle Relief Exposed   Andrew Bailey‘s mistake pitch to Russell Martin put the game and the pennant race out of reach tonight, as the ex-Yankee catcher drove a 94-mph 4-seam fastball on a 2-2 count into the left-field seats for a 3-run homer. Girardi does not have the Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, etc., tandem at his disposal as he did earlier in the season. These days, when a starter is pulled in the 4th or 5th inning, it’s a pure crapshoot mixing and matching, hoping the score is close enough to bring in the big guns.

“It’s not mathematically impossible, but it’s difficult. We’re going to have to be almost perfect.” ‐ Joe Girardi  (h/t: Chad Jennings/LoHud)

MEMORY LANE : On today’s date in 2007, Mike Mussina becomes the 45th pitcher in major league history to win 250 games when the Yankees beat the Blue Jays in the Bronx, 7-5. ‘Moose’ insists that the game ball go to Joba Chamberlain, the rookie phenom who picks up his first career save…

Today in 1999, wth a crowd of 27,549 fans, the Yankees break the New York City season attendance record with a total of 3,072,009. The Mets had previously held the record when 3,047,724 turned the turnstiles in 1988…

On September 23, 1990, the Yankees (62-91) defeated the second place Boston Red Sox (82-71) at Yankee Stadium, 5-4. Roberto Kelly, Steve Sax, Don Mattingly, and Randy Velarde had two hits apiece, as Dave Righetti picked up his 34th save to secure the victory for starter Mike Witt. Check out a game report by the legendary Murray Chass here. Boston was 1 game behind the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays, but finished the season in first place, only to fall to the Oakland A’s in the ALCS. The A’s would be swept by the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series.
(h/t: Baseball-Reference.com, Today in Baseball History)
FOOTNOTES : After their three city road trip that ended with a 5-4 record, the Bombers come home to begin a 4-game set against the Chicago White Sox, with Michael Pineda (11-8, 4.10) taking the hill against Chris Sale (12-10, 3.47) in the opener.
 

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