MacArthur: Mistakes and Cano conspire to sink Jays

Scott MacArthur
5/18/2013 7:15:05 PM
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NEW YORK, New York - There's something about the New York Yankees that doesn't agree with the Blue Jays.

Maybe it's Yankee Stadium with all of its ghosts; though that shouldn't be it - this yard's across the street from where Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle played.

Perhaps, following Saturday's 7-2 loss, it's just Robinson Cano, who will be an all-time Yankee provided he finishes his career in the Bronx.

"I felt like I threw a lot better than what the scoreboard indicated," said starter Brandon Morrow. "Just the New York Robinson Cano's got me and, you know, he was the whole ball game."

A two-run home run by Cano in the third gave New York a 3-0 lead. With the score 3-1 in the fifth, there was Cano again to put the game out of reach, 5-1.

"Cano was the difference," said manager John Gibbons. "The two two-runners was the difference there and then of course, you know, Hafner late. Cano makes a good living doing that and he's tough, too, you know that short porch in right is just like Fenway in left. You're always conscious that that's there, you know."

There was a moment in the top of the first that stood in stark contrast to Cano's exploits. The Blue Jays' best player made a significant mental mistake.

Yankees' starter David Phelps, in the rotation subbing for injured Ivan Nova, struggled out of the gate.

After striking out Melky Cabrera to begin the game, Phelps walked Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

After striking out J.P. Arencibia, Phelps fell behind in the count, 3-1, to Toronto's hottest hitter, Adam Lind. Phelps toed the rubber, came set, spun and picked off Bautista, who'd strayed too far off second base.

The early Jays' threat was over and Phelps, whose 24 first inning pitches consisted of only 11 strikes, was out of his self-imposed jam. Toronto would threaten repeatedly but strand runners in scoring position in the third, fifth and sixth.

"I'm not here to talk about that," Gibbons said. "You want to talk about what happened in the game, overall, yeah we made a couple of sloppy errors late, got picked off and you can't do that. But as far as what it does to you mentally, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask."

On a positive note, Morrow reported good health following his first start in 13 days. He'd been sidelined with a back strain and was ready to pitch on Wednesday but was rescheduled for Saturday.

"Everything was fine," said Morrow. "My back felt good, my arm felt good, I thought my stuff was pretty good and command was good."

Toronto has lost each of the six games it's played at Yankee Stadium so far this season and eight of nine overall to New York, which at 27-16 finds itself atop the American League East despite an injury-depleted roster. The losing skid in the Bronx has reached nine, dating back to last season.

Gibbons aligned his rotation so that his three best healthy starters would pitch in New York.

Now it's up to R.A. Dickey, who will counter Yankees' ace CC Sabathia on Sunday, to salvage the final game of the series.

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