Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bow Before the Master

Halladay Schools Yankees

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
1 5 1
0 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 X
5 8 0

WP - Halladay (7-1) LP - Burnett (2-1)

Take an already weakened lineup and remove Derek Jeter (strained oblique) and Hideki Matsui (tight hamstring). Put Roy Halladay on the mound and you don’t stand much of a chance. That was the case at the Rogers Centre in Toronto last night as Halladay dominated the Yankees in the Blue Jays 5-1 win.

Much was made before the game about Halladay’s positive influence on former teammate, and last night’s Yankees starter, A.J. Burnett. But just like a master chef, perhaps some ingredients were not passed along to the student. Halladay allowed a first inning single to Johnny Damon, who was immediately erased trying to stretch it into a double, and then retired 17 batters in a row before Damon doubled with one out in the 7th.

Burnett matched his mentor stride for stride through the first three innings, but then ran into a roadblock in the 4th. Alex Rios led off the inning with a double and Burnett put himself in a hole when he walked Vernon Wells and Adam Lind to load the bases. Scott Rolen entered the contest 0-18 lifetime against Burnett, but stroked a 2-run double and had three hits against his former nemesis.

Burnett struck out Lyle Overbay for the first out of the inning, but Rod Barajas delivered a sac fly for a 3-0 Blue Jays lead. Meanwhile, Halladay induced a dozen ground ball outs through the first six innings and his vast arsenal of pitches had the Yankees off balance all night. He struck out Mark Teixeira looking, following Damon’s 7th inning double, but Alex Rodriguez singled to bring home the Yankees lone run. With the tying run at the plate, Halladay froze Nick Swisher looking for a called third strike. That would be the last chance for the Yankees to get back into the game.

The Blue Jays put the game away in the 8th inning when Joe Girardi left Burnett in too long. Aaron Hill, the clear front runner for comeback player of the year, led off the 8th inning with his team leading 9th home run of the year for a 4-1 Toronto lead. Rolen added an RBI single later in the inning before Girardi finally pulled his starter from the game.

But two runs would have been enough for pitching master Roy Halladay.

Game Notes

Derek Jeter said his oblique has bothered him for about a week. He hopes to return to the lineup tonight. Hideki Matsui was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 5th inning when his hamstring tightened up. He’s listed as day-to-day.

Chien-Ming Wang
had a successful rehab start for the Scranton Yankees last night. The Wanger went 6 innings, allowed 3 hits, no runs, walked 3 and struck out 6. His sinker worked well and led to 7 ground ball outs. The Yankees now must make a decision whether to activate Wang or have him throw another minor league game.

Roy Halladay is now 16-5 lifetime against the Yankees and has won six straight. That’s the longest streak against the Yankees since Kevin Brown won six straight from ‘89 - ‘92.

The series continues tonight with Andy Pettitte facing rookie Scott Richmond.

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