Marcus Stroman, a rookie pitcher from the New York area, Medford, New York in Suffolk County, earned his 11th win of the season on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The 23 year-old was not pitching for the Yankees but against them as he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 MLB Draft.
After the rookie gave up a double to Brett Gardner to begin the Yankee first, Stroman struck Jeter out looking. Like all baseball fans his age and players from the New York area, Jeter is the most meaningful figure in the game to the pitcher. He remarked of the strikeout, “I grew up watching Jeter. It was an awesome experience, one of my greatest moments.”
The first Yankee runner to score was also Jeter, who singled to right in the third. Jeter moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Brian McCann.
The only other run yielded by Stroman came in the next inning after three singles, Chase Headley, Ichiro Suzuki and Francisco Cervelli.
In the other four innings pitched by Stroman, he gave up three hits, no runs and no walks while fanning seven. In his previous start at Yankee Stadium on June 17, Stroman only lasted 3.2 innings. Six days after that first start against New York, he limited then to three hits and one run. He earned the win after pitching eight innings.
Toronto skipper John Gibbon was extremely pleased, “He stepped up in front of somewhat of a home town crowd. [He has] 11 wins and his first start was only on May 31.” Pretty damn good!”
Stroman was happy to home, “I’m happy to be back in New York, Jeter’s farewell, a packed house.” He mentioned family who were present, “Dad, brother, sister, just a core group, the people who have been with me.”
Not surprisingly, the offensive damage done to the Yankees was by the Dominican duo of sluggers, Jose Bautista and Edward Encarnación. They combined to produce the first Toronto run in the top of the first. Bautista singled to left with one out and was plated by a long double to center by Encarnación.
The 101st walk of the season issued to Bautista and a single by Encarnación with no out put them both in a position to score, which they did in the three run Toronto sixth inning.
Bautista led off the seventh by blasting his 34th home run and driving in his 101st run of the season. Encarnación followed with a single but was stranded.
The home run was his fifth in the last six games against New York. He has eight in their 15 contests.
Bautista drew his third walk of the contest in the ninth, which led to his fourth run scored in the game. He reached base in all five trips to the plate. Bautista described it as “a good performance in a meaningful game in September.”
When told he has 101 runs batted in and 102 walks, he said, “That puts you in an elite group. I’ll enjoy it in the off-season. Right now, we have to win games.” This is a thought Yankee fans may have to ponder in another week.