Bronxian Rhapsody

Bronx, N.Y., August 19, 2018; Yankees 10, Toronto 2 — The Yankees literally drove the Blue Jays from the Bronx Sunday afternoon with a 10-2 thrashing, built largely on a six-run first, with struggling first sacker Greg Bird punctuating the frame with a no-doubt-about-it grand slam 10 feet or so inside the right field foul pole.

For anyone wondering how new Yankee J.A. Happ would be treated by his ex-teammates, early indications weren’t great as Randall Grichuk muscled a 3-0 fastball over the Toronto bullpen with two down in the first. Back-to-back singles followed, until the script changed, with Happ retiring Teoscar Hernandez for his first of eight strike outs. The next time he toed the mound he did so with a five-run lead. He struck out two more in the second, but he had thrown 49 pitches through two.

Happ surrendered a walk and three more safeties following the three-hit first, with the second of those hits being a Kendrys Morales homer to start the top of the sixth. Kevin Pillar doubled, but Aaron Boone allowed Happ to stay in to strike out Hernandez again. It was a Torre-like move, pulling him as the crowd was cheering a solid outing that in little more than an hour would become the southpaw’s fourth win in as many starts as a Yankee. Jonathan Holder and Sonny Gray would finish up, helped by both Pillar’s inscrutable decision to try to steal third with his club down four runs with two outs, and the four-spot the home team answered the Morales homer with in the bottom half.

This rally featured a Giancarlo Stanton rbi single and a base knock from Kyle Higashioka that plated two, but the inspiration for it seemed to come from the third of three hits off the bat of Ronald Torreyes, who came in to play second in the third. Gleyber Torres shifted to short because, in what one hopes is not a serious injury, lineup stalwart Didi Gregorius was pulled following his serious collision with Morales at first base during the six-run first. With Boone hinting at a possible DL stint, the Yanks can afford to put off making that determination during tomorrow’s off day before their two-gamer in Miami that starts Tuesday evening.

Much as was the case with Luis Severino on Saturday, Happ was great, but his pitch count climbed over 100 in the sixth. He threw 71 of 103 tosses for strikes, but the remarkable thing was his swing-and-miss rate; Jays batter swings failed to make contact 21 times. On the other side of the ledger, the Bombers were happy to drive young lefty starter Ryan Borucki from the mound in the first. He had given them fits a month ago in Toronto, going seven innings and allowing just one run, in an eventual 2-1 Jays loss.

The three-game sweep of Toronto gave the Yanks a 7-3 mark on the now concluded homestand, and removed the bad taste in their mouths from having dropped two of three to Tampa mid-week. The team and the fans welcomed the exciting but diminutive Torreyes back into the lineup, and it is perhaps noteworthy that he had the multiple hits on this, the same day Bill Veeck foisted three-foot-seven-inch Eddie Gaedel on major league baseball as a pinch hitter in 1951. On that selfsame day 67 years ago, bass guitar player John Deacon, from the legendary rock group Queen, was born. With key offensive pieces missing from their lineup, including Didi much of today, the Bombers destroyed Blue Jays pitching. scoring 28 runs over the three wins. You could say that they and their fans had themselves a,

Bronxian Rhapsody