Jaime Garcia was pulled in the third inning as the New York Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Sunday at Rogers Centre. >> Box score
Garcia (1-3) gave up five runs, four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings, as the Yankees fell to five games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
He surrendered a leadoff home run to Teoscar Hernandez in the first inning and was charged for three runs when Jonathan Holder inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam and gave up a bases-clearing double to Russell Martin in the third inning that gave Toronto a 5-0 lead.
Bryan Mitchell allowed up four runs and four hits in 1/3 of an inning, giving up RBI singles to Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista and a two-run single to Kendrys Morales.
Aaron Judge went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs, as he now leads the American League with 48 homers this season. He is now one home run shy of tying Mark McGwire's rookie record for home runs in a season.
My "old school" thought is that the Yankees may have wanted to celebrate when they knew exactly where their placement in the playoffs would be. Regardless of postseason probabilities (which place the Yankees as the American League's top wild-card team), until there are no games left to catch a team, the Yanks need to be at their best. It could be argued that they shouldn't let up at all and keep pushing for wins to maximize their confidence level heading to the playoffs.
A night of drinking, etc., with eight games left and the Red Sox mathematically within reach, might not have been the best idea. But, that's not how this game is played now. It's about celebrating upon clinching a postseason spot and every round a team wins thereafter.
On the flip side, Judge was not affected in the slightest by the celebration as he creeps closer to the rookie season home run record. Judge is now within one of tying and two of overtaking McGwire for the record. Judge is as hot as he's been all season and with the team's remaining games in Yankee Stadium, the prospects of reaching the mark are quite good. The September run also has put Judge back into AL MVP conversation.
CC Sabathia (12-5, 3.81 ERA) and the Yankees face Jake Junis (8-2, 4.05 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals in a make-up game on Monday at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.