Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Robinson Cano DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez 1B
Russell Martin C
Chris Dickerson LF
Ramiro Pena SS
RHP Freddy Garcia (11-7, 3.71)
Garcia vs. Blue Jays
BLUE JAYS (75-76)
Mike McCoy SS
Eric Thames LF
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind DH
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Kelly Johnson 2B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Colby Rasmus CF
Jose Molina C
RHP Brandon Morrow (9-11, 5.23)
Morrow vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:07 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Might be the nicest day we’ve had here in Toronto.
UMPIRES: HP Dan Iassogna, 1B Dale Scott, 2B Jerry Meals, 3B CB Bucknor
MORE ON MO: Yesterday’s save was Mariano Rivera’s 60th appearance of the season. He’s reached that plateau for the 14 times in his career, passing Mike Stanton for most in baseball history.
MVP? Curtis Granderson ranks second in the Majors with a career-high 40 home runs. He is the third Yankees center field with as many homers in a single season. Mickey Mantle hit 40 four times, and Joe DiMaggio did it twice. Granderson also leads the Majors with 4.46 pitches per play appearance, and he joins Willie Mays (1955 with the Giants) as the only players in Major League history to collect at least 40 homers, 10 triples and 20 stolen bases in a season. Mays had 51 homers, 13 triples and 24 stolen bases that season. Granderson is the ninth Yankee to reach double digits in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases in a season.
MAGIC NUMBER: To clinch a playoff spot, the magic number is five. To clinch the division, it’s eight.
UPDATE, 1:33 p.m.: Further proof that I’m an idiot… I had just clicked on this blog post just to write something about the slow beginning to the game — not much happening, that kind of thing — and all of a sudden, Adam Lind went deep for a 1-0 Blue Jays lead in the second. The guy has some power, no doubt.
UPDATE, 1:56 p.m.: Still 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third. Morrow has struck out four of the past six Yankees.
UPDATE, 2:12 p.m.: Adam Lind goes deep again. Have to give Gardner credit for getting up over the wall more than I expected, but he never had a chance to make the catch. That’s another solo shot for a 2-0 Blue Jays lead in the fourth.
UPDATE, 2:32 p.m.: Bad throw by Garcia moves the lead runner to third, and a sac fly brings him home. It’s now 3-0 Blue Jays in the fifth.
UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: Garcia’s chased by a two-out single by Bautista. Here’s Aaron Laffey to face Lind, who was 2-for-2 with a pair of homers off Garcia today.
UPDATE, 2:46 p.m.: Laffey walked his guy, but Ayala got out of the bases loaded jam to keep the score at 3-0. Meanwhile, the Yankees have two hits through five innings
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: This diminished Yankees lineup is really struggling to get anything going. Even the regular guys are having a hard time. Cano, Rodriguez and Swisher just went down in order in the seventh, and it’s still a 3-0 Blue Jays lead.
UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Thames is out of the game after fouling a ball off his own face. Seemed like he was ready to stay in initially, but Cooper is going to pinch hit.
UPDATE, 3:16 p.m.: Holy cow, it’s Raul Valdes! A September call-up finally making his debut on September 18.
UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.: Valdes struck out Lind looking, now it looks like he’s staying in to face the right-hander Encarnacion. The bases are loaded with two outs, so this is a key at-bat.
UPDATE, 3:23 p.m.: Nice work by Valdes. The Yankees have been giving Laffey plenty of chances. Wonder if two consecutive outs were enough to win Valdes a few more looks in the final week and a half.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Morrow has been dominant. He’s through eight innings, still a 3-0 lead.