GAME 5 : It was only a matter of time. The stupidest rule change in the history of baseball, combined with 4 blind mice, denied the Yankees the tying run in the 3rd inning (video above). Whether Toronto catcher Josh Thole was blocking the plate prior to having possession of the ball could be debatable — but replays showed Francisco Cervelli clearly slid in under the tag — so the umps blew it twice on one call.
But the real story was a stellar start from Michael Pineda and the inability of the bats to take advantage of opportunity. Pineda went six strong, scattering 5 hits, allowing just one run, no walks, 5K’s on 83 pitches.
At the plate, the Yankees had their chances in the 6th and 8th innings of a tight, 1-0 game. Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter each reached base to start both frames, but the middle of the order came up empty both times. Toronto starter R.A. Dickey‘s knuckler was on, and frustrated the hitters over 6 2/3.
It was still close until the 8th, when David Phelps served up the long ball to Melky Cabrera, then a 2-run shot by Joey Bats, making it 4-0. Shame that Pineda gets tagged with the L, but very encouraging for the rotation overall.
Here’s the box score. And a recap from LoHud‘s Chad Jennings, and one from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun. Next up: CC Sabathia takes the ball tomorrow in the series finale.