"If these guys would have beat us again tonight easily, a lot of heads would have been hanging in the locker-room thinking, 'Do we have what it takes to beat these guys?"' said Matt Stairs of Fredericton, who scored three runs out of the leadoff spot. "It's a huge win." (Toronto Sun)
Chien-Ming Wang vs. Roy Halladay was supposed to be a fine pitcher's duel. Instead it was a blowout, as Wang suffered the shortest and worst outing of his career, allowing eight runs (all earned) in 2.2 innings. "He just got his ass kicked," Joe Torre told reporters after the game. And so this contest was over for the Yankees before it really started. Yeah, they managed to hit three home runs off of Halladay (two by Robinson Cano), but that hardly put a dent into the Jays lead. Final: Blue Jays 15, Yanks 4.
"These games are easy to put away," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, whose team is 20-8 since the All-Star break, "because you can't point to any one thing and say this could have changed things."
The Jays finished the series with a measure of self-respect after getting waxed twice. Clearly, some bad blood has developed between these two teams. The number one chief rocker, Alex Rodriguez, did not play as his calf was still sore from getting drilled the night before. Josh Towers, the man who has won more than ten games in a season exactly once, and the owner of a 45-54 lifetime record had the chutzpah to talk trash about Yankee first base coach Tony Pena after Tuesday night's game. Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield, who used to work for the Yankees, was upset with a couple of slides from the same game. Lots of chest-puffing from a Toronto team that has several very good professional players but in total are, and have been, the epitome of mediocrity.
The Yanks and Jays play six more times against each other in September.
New York is back to six games out in the AL East as the Red Sox beat the Angels last night, but the Yanks are still just a half-a-game out of the wildcard as the Tigers and Indians continue to struggle.
Today gives a day of rest. The Yanks play three in Cleveland this weekend:
"Right now, we're probably as good a team as we've been all year," Torre said. "We'll see how good that is when we test ourselves against the better teams."
Amen to that. Hey, if the Yanks crap out against the likes of the Inidans, Tigers, Angels and Red Sox, well then, they don't deserve to play in October. Full speed ahead.