Alek Manoah pitches a gem, as Toronto shuts out New York 3-0
New York got off to a slow start today, but they contained Toronto’s offense in the first inning. After letting a man on base early, the Yanks defense stepped it up and got themselves out of the inning. They shut out Boston, but couldn’t get anything going on offense either. Alek Manoah came out of the gates scorching hot today. He struck out LeMahieu and Rizzo consecutively, who are two of the Yankees best hitters. Judge then grounded out, to end the inning.
Jameson Taillon, however, had a strong season opener of his own. Midway through the second, both pitchers had the same amount of strikeouts (2), and they held the opposing team to zero runs. In the bottom of the second, Hicks had an epic battle with Manoah, but he went down swinging after a slider was thrown in the low-80’s. It was one of the highlights for Manoah so far, as he and Hicks battled it out. Both Manoah and Taillon were marvelous to kick off the game.
George Springer decided to take matters into his own hands, and swing for the fences. It worked, and Springer launched a two-run homer over the left field wall. This home-run gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead which was significant, because both teams were struggling on offense. Manoah now has some extra insurance that he can work with, which ultimately alleviates pressure off of him. Through 3 innings, the Florida native threw four strikeouts, and he allowed just one hit for zero runs.
It wasn’t until two outs, when the Yankees finally put some pressure on the Blue Jays ace. After letting up three walks in a row, with Stanton in the box, Manoah was in trouble for the first time all night. Off a broken bat, Bichette made a brilliant play after it got by a diving Chapman, and Bichette was able to make the play of the day defensively so far. That huge out got Manoah out of the jam, destroying any sense of momentum New York had. A leadoff double was wasted, in the top of the fourth for Toronto, after Chapman became another victim of Taillon’s.
The Yankees continued to struggle all night, but were able to curb the momentum Toronto had in the top of the sixth. With a man on base and a 2-2 count, Kirk wasn’t able to get the job done. Their defense was solid for the most part, but the Yankees only had a single hit through six innings. New York’s struggles continued, as Judge was struck out on a check-swing attempt. Manoah then got Gallo for another K, as he headed to the bench fired up while he continued his stellar performance. In six innings, Manoah silenced the Yankees with seven strikeouts, and just one hit from Joey Gallo.
George Springer, had another RBI, which was a double that advanced Espinal enough to score. Springer’s total RBI count was increased to three on the day, which is impressive considering the entire Yankees team struggled to get just one. Behind Manoah’s elite pitching, and George Springer’s offense, the Blue Jays increased their lead to 3-0 heading into the seventh inning stretch.
Toronto’s bullpen issues became glaring once Manoah left the game. Richards let the first two batters he faced reach the bases safely, and he was saved by a sliding catch in right field. He couldn’t get two outs before another change was made by Toronto’s bullpen. Adam Cimber replaced Richards, with just one out obtained in the inning. With Donaldson up, Cimber was facing an uphill battle, but he got out of the pickle, thanks to a dazzling play from Bo Bichette. Just as the Yankees built a foundation for a comeback, the Blue Jays tore it down once again. After Richards struggled early, Cimber found a rhythm and was able to get Toronto’s bullpen back on track.
In their final chance, Gallo was able to get on base for the second time of the day. In a game filled with darkness for New York, he was a bright spot after struggling in the Boston series. As they have done all night, another defensive play made by Toronto silenced New York. Hicks did his best to resume their momentum, with a single to right field, but Higashioka was ultimately retired.
Manoah pitched a gem today, and the Yankees simply were not able to touch him. With three runs from Springer as well, the Blue Jays dominated New York, and move to 3-1 on the season. Meanwhile, New York falls back to .500, after winning the first two games of the season.