(How the game ended. Courtesy of The AP)
Does any player better personify the continued irrelevancy of the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East than Ricky Romero? Every year we hear about how the Blue Jays are better than they were and ready to take the next step, and every year they underwhelm and finish 4th. And every year we hear about how Ricky Romero is a future stud young lefty who can be a key to Toronto's rotation improvements, and every year he ends up being the same talented but underwhelming middle-of-the-rotation arm that he is. He was facing Hiroki Kuroda yesterday in a series finale matinee, and he didn't fare too well at all.
- The offense came out swinging in the bottom of the 1st. A Derek Jeter double, Nick Swisher single, and Mark Teixeira 2-run homer and it was 3-0, and a Robinson Cano double and Andruw Jones single made it 4-0 before Romero had even recorded 2 outs.
- Kuroda was back on his game after a couple of subpar outings earlier in the month and it showed from the word "go." He allowed just 1 hit through 3 innings, and got 8 of the 9 outs via the strikeout or groundout.
- After the top of the order got things started, it was the bottom half's turn to build on the early lead. They tacked a run on in the 4th after Jayson Nix doubled and scored on a Dewayne Wise RBI single. That duo teamed up again in the 6th for a pair of singles and the Yankees' 6th run of the day.
- He didn't rack up a high K total, but Kuroda finished just as strongly as he started. He worked around a leadoff double in the 5th and a 2 on/1 out situation in the 7th, and he was in control all day. He had the sinker working, the slider working, and the splitter working, and the Blue Jays were helpless against them.
- The only thing that was able to slow the Yankees down yesterday was the weather. And when the rains came in the bottom of the 7th, the game was called and the Yankees had their sweep. Perhaps more importantly, the bullpen got some rest.
- Kuroda:7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, W. Oh look, another Yankee starter closing in on 10 wins. When Kuroda is commanding his offspeed stuff down in the zone the way he was yesterday, he can beat any team in either league. Dude's stuff is underrated.
- Teixeira: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Nice little start to Teix's 2nd half. Hitting for average and power and from both sides of the plate. He seems to really be seeing the ball well right now.
- Nix: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 LOB. Didn't get his props yesterday for a 3-hit effort, so he gets one here today for another great day at the plate. Nix has really been an underappreciated asset for the Yankees this season. He's hitting the ball well and giving them good defensive innings from multiple positions on the field.
- The Horse: 0-3, 1 LOB. The only guy in the lineup to not get a hit. Not a good look.
The Yanks are going (going) back (back) to Cali (Cali) for the start of a 7-game West Coast swing, 4 in Oakland starting tonight and 3 in Seattle after that. Tonight, it'll be old man Freddy Garcia starting for the Bombers and rookie A.J. Griffin for the A's.