Following their big 3-2 win over the Jays in the series opener, the New York Yankees dropped game two to Toronto by the final score of 7-2.
The story of the night was the Yankees continuing to struggle against left-handed pitching. This time it was 33-year old southpaw J.A. Happ, who stifled the Yankees lineup as he allowed just one run over six innings of work on Wednesday night at the Rogers Centre.
Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda took the loss, but after giving up just three runs (two earned) over six innings and earning a quality start in comparison to his horrid first start against Houston, this was certainly a step in the right direction for ‘Big Mike.’
Unfortunately the Yankees offense couldn’t back Pineda with a win.
The most glaring takeaway from Wednesdays ballgame was Ivan Nova‘s struggles out of the bullpen. Following his successful bullpen debut against Houston back on April 6th where he earned a four-inning save, the right-hander absolutely imploded up in Canada.
He entered a one-run ballgame in the bottom of the eight-inning with the Yankees trailing just 3-2, but he immediately gave up four runs (all-earned) on five hits, which opened the flood-gates and blew the game wide open for Toronto. Sure, Nova might get a free-pass because he’s learning how to be a long-reliever on the fly, but what bothered me most on Wednesday evening was his body language from the mound. It’s one thing to struggle and show some emotion from the hill, but his demeanor was totally alarming. It looked as if he was unhappy to pitch out of the ‘pen from the start and that he had given up before the ball was even placed in his hand.
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On Thursday evening the Yankees won’t face a left-handed starter, but they’ll be playing against one of the best pitchers in the American League East in Blue Jays ace and Stony Brook, Long Island native Marcus Stroman.
The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the hill to wrap up their six-game road trip and attempt to not only win the rubber-match, but also keep the Yankees above .500 on their current road trip.