Yankees 3-9 Blue Jays: Bombers lose game in Toronto, capping tumultuous week

Nestor Cortes didn’t have his best stuff on Saturday afternoon.
USA Today
Esteban Quiñones
Saturday June 29, 2024

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New York Yankees 3-9 Blue Jays

On Saturday, the New York Yankees suffered a huge loss, falling 9-3 to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto, dampening their hopes of securing a series win.

This is their fourth loss in five games, in a week that saw them win only once. The day was particularly challenging, as minutes prior to the game, Juan Soto was removed from the lineup due to a hand bruise.

How it happened

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.4Vladimir Guerrero Jr. celebrates a three-run double in a win over the Yankees.
Getty Images via NY POST

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who once said he would never don a Yankee jersey but last week said he would be open to joining them, set the tone early for the Blue Jays’ win.

Despite a promising start, the Yankees failed to capitalize. In the top of the first inning, Ben Rice and Aaron Judge singled, putting two men on base. However, a poorly-advised steal attempt at third led to a replay overturn, stalling their momentum. Nestor Cortes’ road struggles continued as Guerrero’s home run put the Blue Jays ahead early.

Adding to the Yankees’ woes, Chris Bassitt, Toronto’s starter, sustained a significant injury. Aaron Judge’s comebacker struck Bassitt on the forearm, resulting in a fist-sized welt. Despite this setback for the Jays, the Yankees couldn’t exploit the situation further. Rice and Austin Wells both doubled, with Judge contributing a big hit, but these moments of promise were fleeting.

The turning point came in the sixth inning when Gleyber Torres was thrown out on a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play, leaving the score at 3-1. The Blue Jays then batted around in a five-run sixth inning, encapsulating the Yankees’ recent struggles.

The Yankees’ pitching woes were evident, with Nestor Cortes appearing hesitant to throw inside. He left numerous fastballs over the middle and outer third of the plate, which Toronto’s right-handed power hitters capitalized on. Jake Cousins relieved Cortes in the fifth, but the damage was done.

Compounding the Yankees’ struggles was an increasingly vulnerable bullpen. The team has consistently found itself playing from behind, with little faith in the pitching staff’s ability to keep games close. This has amplified the impact of poor offensive performances and questionable decisions on the basepaths.

Austin Wells provided a glimmer of hope with a garbage-time home run in the ninth inning, adding to his earlier double. Fans can cling to the hope that his xwOBA will soon reflect his wOBA more accurately.

Roster

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Up next

Looking ahead, the Yankees will turn to Gerrit Cole, who will make his third appearance of the year in Sunday’s series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 12:07 p.m. Eastern, with Cole aiming to rebound from his recent command issues against the Mets.

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