In a highly anticipated matchup between the A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay, Halladay was triumphant. He pitched all nine innings, and did so in speedy fashion – just two hours and 22 minutes. With the win, the Blue Jays (23-12) extended their AL East lead over the Yankees (15-17) to 6.5 games.
After Johnny Damon (AL Player of the Week last week) was thrown out at second trying to extend a single into a double, Halladay retired the next 17 Yankee hitters in order. But it got even worse for the Yanks; Hideki Matsui left the game in the fifth with a strained right hamstring.
Burnett was working on a no-no going into the fourth, but that’s when the Blue Jays’ bats started sounding off. With the bases crammed, nobody out, Scott Rolen —who came into theat bat 0-for-19 lifetime against Burnett— grounded a hot shot down the third baseline plating two runs for the Jays. They added one more on a sac-fly from Rod Barajas.
The Yanks slipped one run past Halladay in the seventh when Alex Rodriguez’s grounder scored Damon from second, but that was all the Yanks could manage. The Jays tacked on two more in the eighth to go onto a 5-1 victory. Full box score here.
Halladay carried a 2.86 ERA in 32 games against the Yankees in his career, and, according to John Sterling, pitched his best game ever against the Yankees tonight. It is frustrating to run into a pitcher of Halladay’s caliber when the team is already in a slump. Let’s just hope Matsui’s injury isn’t serious.
- Damon was the only Yankee to muster anything offense against Halladay. He went 2-for-4 to raise his season average up to .320.
- Burnett pitched well against a good hitting club. Five earned runs over 7 2/3 innings (110 pitches) is a gutsy performance in my book.
Andy Pettitte (2-1, 4.38) and The Yankees look to rebound against Scott Richmond (4-1, 3.29) Wednesday night at 7:07 p.m.