Game 159: Yankees at Blue Jays

Nick Swisher called this “a must win game” for the Yankees, and after yesterday’s deflating 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays, it has to be.

At this point, they all are must-win games for the Bombers, who enter today tied once again with the Orioles for first place in the American League East with just four games remaining on the schedule. New York needs to at least salvage a split of this four-game series at Rogers Centre before heading home to play the Red Sox for three very meaningful games.

In case you’re wondering, if the Yankees and Orioles finished the regular season tied, there would be a one-game playoff held at Camden Yards on Oct. 4 to determine who wins the AL East and who gets the Wild Card. The way things are going, it’s probably best not to rule anything out.

Here are the lineups —

Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Raul Ibanez LF
Russell Martin C
Eric Chavez DH

Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.10)

Brett Lawrie 3B
Rajai Davis LF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Adam Lind 1B
Moises Sierra RF
J.P. Arencibia C
Adeiny Hechavarria 2B
Anthony Gose CF

Henderson Alvarez RHP (9-14, 4.91)

Here’s the highlighted information from the Yankees’ media relations team:

AT A GLANCE: The Yankees will play the final game of a four-game series vs. the Toronto Blue Jays today at Rogers Centre for their final regular season road game in 2012… is their final game on their seven-game road trip – their final trip of the season – which began with a three-game series win at Minnesota (2-1)…  following today’s game, return home for a three-game set vs. Boston, their final series of the season.
—>>> Have won 10 of their last 14 games, 13 of their last 19 and 15 of their last 23… are 24 games over .500, one shy of their season high… are tied with Baltimore (also 91-67) for the second-best record in the AL, 1.5G behind Texas (92-65, .586).
—>>> Are in a stretch of 15 straight days with 16 games scheduled to finish the regular season.
—>>> Went undefeated in their six series prior to this one (5-0-1).

IN CLOSING: The Yankees are 32-18 in series finales… have won their last five on the road.

GO, GO, CANO: 2B Robinson Cano has collected 12H in his last 19AB (.632) over his last 5G (all multi-hit affairs)… the five consecutive multi-hit games matches his season-long stretch (also 6/30-7/4) and ties for the third-longest such streak of his career.
—>>> Is batting .337 (69-for-205) with 16 doubles and 11HR in day games this season.

A COOLER BREEZE: The Yankees have struck out a single-season franchise-record 1,283 batters this year… surpasses the previous mark of 1,266K set in 2001.

NICKY SWISH: RF/1B Nick Swisher has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, going 16-for-44 (.364) with 4HR and 14RBI since 9/19… is also 8-for-15 (.533) with RISP over the stretch.
—>>> Owns 92RBI this season, three shy of his career high set in 2006 w/ Oakland.
—>>> Six of his last 12HR—and seven of his last 15—have given the Yankees the lead.


Scrappy win but they’re going to have to be – but what I will say is that this is good, lets be honest, if the Jays & Sux play to their standing it will be very bad news for us in the overall sense. We don’t need to be playing teams going through the motions right now because this time next week the teams we’ll be playing won’t be of that calibre, they’ll be teams who can & will beat up on you. So playing the Jays who showed a bit of pep about themselves over the course of the weekend is good for us, avoids us going into the playoffs having played 7 games against teams who just showed up to finish the season! Ofcourse there were negatives (Hughes pitching performance was not as good as you’d like for example), but the Yankees took far more out of this series than just 2 games.
with that being said, if you asked me would I rather be facing the Rays or the Red Sox with the division on the line, that’s a no brainer! The Red Sox all they can do is win headlines, all they’re playing for is to spoil the Yankees season – the Rays on the other hand smell another situation like last year and who can blame them. While the Red Sox will be tough if the Rays win game one against Baltimore then I’d suggest to you they become virtually impossible to deal with in games 2 & 3!


You’re right seeknay. They finally decided to take a page from the O’s book and do some bunting and small ball and it paid off. Can’t go into the playoffs only winning with the long ball. This game became more critical, Swish, because the yankees blew a game yesterday they should have won. Now we’re set up for a possible tie breaker with the game being played in the O’s ball park. Not a good scenario. Let’s hope yankees win the rest and the O’s lose at least 1 to the RAys. The team is struggling both at pitching and offense. Not sure we’ve got a strong enough team to get past the first round if we do get in. A lot of soul-searching and tough decisions will need to be made in the off season. Pitching rotation only Andy, CC and Kuroda (at least he used to be) are consistent. Nova, Hughes, Phelps you never know what you’re going to get. We pulled out a win today which shows character but the team was desperate and when it’s desperate they seem to come through.


My God Girardi learned how to play small ball and it worked. Now let’s see if Robertson & Soriano can get 6 more outs to stay even with the O’s.


Phil Hughes, once again proving he’s a 500 pitcher and a CHOKER. This team will be lucky to make the playoffs. Long overdue to give this team an ENEMA. The likes of Hughes, Joba, Garcia, Jones, and others NEED to sent elsewhere or released. Sick and tired of watching same thing OVER & OVER again. First one I’d do is see if ANYONE would take #13 off their hands and pay the entire contract if you have to. ENEMA Hal and company and if you have to start with the architect of this sorry arse club, Crashman.


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