UPDATE: Michael King went six scoreless. Austin Wells hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth. The Yankees won 2-0. Good night.
As the New York Yankees near the conclusion of another painful season, the Toronto Blue Jays are forwarding a playoff push and seem well-positioned to make a run. With one last gasping breath, the Yankees can do their best to ruin it for their division rivals, though.
This week's series will be uneventful -- especially since the first game didn't feature Aaron Judge or Anthony Volpe -- but there are still some storylines to look out for. The Yanks have a lot of young guys playing, which will help fans forecast what's to come for 2024.
Michael King started on Tuesday night as he helps the Yankees figure out their rotation plans moving forward. He's looked electrifying as a starter and could really help the team save money and more urgently address other areas of the roster if he's able to seamlessly transition into a full-time role next year.
King once again started strong and pieced together what will likely be another great outing, and what made it even better was the home plate ump hosing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. a few times in the process because of the right-hander's filth.
In the first inning, Vladdy was called out on strikes after watching this breaking ball dip below the zone as Malachi Moore rung him up.
Umpire absolutely owning Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a Yankees win no matter the outcome
King swiftly retired the first seven Blue Jays he faced, but then game the third inning. He gave up a single to Alejandro Kirk, walked George Springer and walked Bo Bichette. Guerrero Jr. returned to the plate with the bases juiced and two outs.
King fell behind the Jays slugger 3-0. Uh oh. Here comes the massacre, right? This is the beginning of every abrupt Yankees meltdown.
But back came Moore to the rescue! After King dropped in two strikes to put pressure on Vladdy, he got him looking on another strike three call that was just outside the zone. Absolutely frozen. We thought this was Vladdy's house?
That was certainly more of a borderline call than the first, and a hitter like Vladdy should know he has to protect the plate on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded since Moore made it known he has a wide zone tonight.
The Yankees might not be making the playoffs. They might not even interrupt the Jays' plans. But we'll count every small victory here, and Guerrero Jr. getting humbled by questionable umpiring is entertainment for Yankees fans in a lost year.