Yankees: 3 things NYY need to prove in huge series vs Toronto

2 of 3
Taijuan Walker #0 of the Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

2. Yanks Must Get Revenge on Pitchers They Passed On

Taijuan Walker could’ve been pitching for the Yankees this week. He’s not.

In many ways, this 2020 season diverged when the Blue Jays decided to all-caps GO FOR IT at the trade deadline, while the Yankees decided to sit back and wait for the calvary to return.

Toronto added Jonathan Villar, Robbie Ray and — perhaps most importantly — Taijuan Walker, thought to be a Bronx Bombers target on a one-year deal. Instead, he went elsewhere in the division. At the time, it felt like it really mattered.

Walker’s start against the Yanks last week lasted only four innings, and featured five walks and myriad control issues, but it still resulted in a victory, further frustrating a fan base in the doldrums. This week, whether it matters in the grand scheme of things or not, it would be a big confidence boost to hang a loss on the man who could’ve worn pinstripes.

And, not for nothing, but the Yanks have now tattooed Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Jays’ expensive offseason addition, the last two times they’ve faced him, ruining his ERA title chances in 2019 at Dodger Stadium. Last week, thanks to the bullpen’s incompetence, they failed to hang a loss on him, though, and this time, they don’t get another crack at him. New York needs to prove they can hit the other Jays starters, too, and it begins with Walker, who flirted with disaster last week.