And they did what they didn't do enough of last year: Beat those pesky Toronto Blue Jays.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the Yankees' side of the game with a triple off former Met R.A. Dickey. Brett Gardner walked, Mark Teixeira struck out, and then Carlos Beltran grounded into a force play, on which Ellsbury scored.
As it turned out, that was the only run the Yankees would need. but it was not he only one they would get. Beltran hit a home run in the 4th inning (his 10th of the season). Austin Romine hit an RBI double in the 7th, followed by an RBI single by Ellsbury. In the 8th, 2 more runs came home on a sacrifice fly by Chase Headley and a single by Didi Gregorius.
The Yankees actually allowed more baserunners through walks than hits. Here's all the baserunners the Jays got:
* 2nd inning: Troy Tulowitzki singled off Nathan Eovaldi. Jimmy Paraedes walked. Neither scored.
* 3rd inning: Josh Thole drew a leadoff walk. Cliche alert: Those walks'll kill ya. Except when they don't. Jose Bautista singled (but did not flip his bat). Josh Donaldson bunted them over. But Eovaldi worked out of the jam, and allowed no further baserunners as he pitched into the 7th. This was key, because it was only 2-0 going into the bottom of the 7th, and you know how the Yankees have struggled to get results this season when they don't get at least 3 runs. Indeed, the Jays didn't get another hit after this.
* 7th inning: Eovaldi walked Tulowitzki, and Girardi removed him for Dellin Betances, who got the next 3 batters out.
* 8th inning: Kirby Yates walked Bautista, but stranded him.
* 9th inning: Luis Cessa (almost certainly, by accident) hit former Yankee Russell Martin with a pitch. He did not score, and it wouldn't have mattered much if he had.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 0. A 2-hit shutout. Our best game, all-around, of the season thus far, and against the defending American League Eastern Division Champions, struggling at the moment though they may be. WP: Eovaldi (5-2). No save. LP: Dickey (2-6, whose story has been full of hard luck since he came to Toronto).
In the 1st game they played after I was born, in he 1st game they played after my sister was born, and in the last game they played before my father died, the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. (Neither of my parents was a Yankee Fan. In the 1st game they played after my father was born, they beat the Washington Senators; in the 1st after my mother was born, they lost to the Philadelphia Athletics.)
In the 1st game they played after my twin nieces Ashley and Rachel were born, the Yankees won... beating the Minnesota Twins. Now, in the 1st game they've played after my niece Mackenzie was born, the Yankees have won.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez made his 1st injury rehab start. In his 1st at-bat for the Trenton Thunder, he popped up.
He's already in October form.
As for that Other Team, Matt Harvey got rocked again. Does anybody still think he's an "ace"?
It's been 3 weeks since I did a countdown:
Hours until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 6, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time tonight, at Toyota Park in Frisco, Texas, home of FC Dallas. It is the last warmup match for the 2016 Copa America, the 100th Anniversary of the tournament, being hosted on U.S. soil for the 1st time. (The U.S. normally wouldn't compete, and nor would Mexico: It's traditionally the continental tournament for national teams in South America.)
Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 3, this Saturday night at 7:00, home to Toronto FC.
Days until the 2016 Copa America kicks off in the U.S.: 9, a week from this Friday.
Days until Euro 2016 kicks off in France: 16, on Friday, June 10. A little over 2 weeks.
Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series of the season: 51, on Friday, July 15, the 1st series after the All-Star Break, at Yankee Stadium II. A little over 7 weeks.
Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 53, against the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park) in Chester, Pennsylvania. The next game against New York City F.C. (a.k.a. Man City NYC, Man City III, Small Club In Da Bronx and The Homeless) is on Sunday afternoon, July 3, at Yankee Stadium II -- although after the greatest humiliation any MLS team has ever endured, that 7-0 defeat in The Bronx last weekend, I wonder if NYCFC (now 0-4 all-time against RBNY) will even want to show up. The next game against D.C. United (a.k.a. The DC Scum) is on Sunday night, August 21, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington. The next game against the New England Revolution is on Sunday night, August 28, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Days until The Arsenal play at the opponents in the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star Game: 64, on Thursday night, July 28, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. A little over 2 months. Three days later, The Arsenal will play C.D. Guadalajara (a.k.a. Chivas), one of the biggest clubs in Mexico, at the StubHub Center, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy, in Carson, California. This will be just 2 years after The Arsenal came to America to play the Red Bulls in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to get a ticket and attend that match. I don't think I'll be going to either of these: Even if I could get a game ticket, paying for a plane ticket would be tough.
Days until the 2016 Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 72, on Friday, August 5. A little over 10 weeks.
Days until The Arsenal play another competitive match: At least 87. The 2016-17 Premier League
season is likely to open on Saturday, August 20. Their game could be delayed to Sunday the 21st, or Monday the 22nd. Under 3 months.
Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 101, on Saturday, September 3, away to the University of Washington, in Seattle.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 107, on Friday, September 9, probably away, since, while the 2016 schedule hasn't been released yet, the Big Green opened last season at home.
Days until the New Jersey Devils play another local rival: Unknown, but at least 135. The schedule for the 2016-17 NHL season has been announced as being released on June 22. The new season is likely to begin on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 7. But the Devils are not likely to play either the New York Rangers (a.k.a. The Scum), the New York Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers (a.k.a. The Philth) in the opener.
Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 173, on Thursday morning, November 24, at the purple shit pit on Route 9. Just 6 months.
Days until the Contract From Hell runs out, and Alex Rodriguez' alleged retirement becomes official: 524, on October 31, 2017, or at the conclusion of the 2017 World Series, if the Yankees make it, whichever comes last. A little over 17 months.
Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 750, on June 14, 2018. A little over 2 years. The U.S. team will probably qualify for it, but with Jurgen Klinsmann as manager, particularly in competitive matches rather than in friendlies, you never know.