07/12/2003 4:10 PM ET
Yankees fall to Blue Jays, Halladay
Toronto ace too much for Yankee hitters
By Stephanie J. Geosits / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- The Yankees failed to
convert on a solid outing by Mike Mussina, and proved ineffective both at the
plate against Roy Halladay and out of the bullpen on Saturday at
SkyDome in a 10-3 loss to the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays
improved to 29-45.
"Halladay was lights-out," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
"He was strike one all the time, but with Moose they had to
work a little harder to score. They worked hard and they beat us fair
Toronto took the lead for good in the seventh. With two
outs, Mussina (10-6) gave up back-to-back singles to Howie Clark and
Chris Woodward before hitting Shannon Stewart with a pitch to load the
bases. Frank Catalanotto drove a liner past a diving Derek Jeter to give
the Blue Jays a 4-2 lead and up his lifetime average against Mussina to
"He's had a lot of success against Moose," Torre said. "Moose
had him 0-for-3 today and I think the problem with that at-bat [was that] he got
behind 2-0 trying to make perfect pitches -- not that that's an excuse -- and
it just happened that he was patient at the plate."
Halladay (13-2) put on a pitching demonstration for much of the game. The
Yankees starter left after seven innings, allowing four runs on eight
hits. He struck out six and walked just one.
"The whole game can be
frustrating when things seem like they could go better and they don't,"
Mussina said. "We were up against a good pitcher today, and we had to
battle and we had to fight. He's having a great year."
Jays' ace won his 13th straight decision. He went eight innings, allowing
two runs on four hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, throwing an economical 92 pitches, 66 of which were strikes.
really knows what he's doing," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said. "You don't
win that many games in a row not knowing what you're doing on the
mound. [He's got] location, curveball, everything. He gets ahead of the
hitters and goes to work. He's got four outstanding pitches, so he's got to
go out there and stay aggressive with it. You've just got to battle
with him, and it's tough to battle when you don't know what he's going to
throw. Everything he throws, he throws for a strike."
Juan Acevedo started the ninth and gave up a run on an RBI single by Posada to cut Toronto's lead to 10-3. Trever Miller came on to
finish the ninth.
Before the game, Torre spoke of
his desire for the team to acquire an experienced, preferably
left-handed, reliever to help his young, struggling bullpen. That need became apparent
in the eighth as the relief corps allowed six runs and turned a tight
contest into a blowout.
Chris Hammond started the bottom of
the eighth, down 4-2, and loaded the bases without recording an out. The
New York lefty gave up back-to-back singles to start the inning, and
Eric Hinske reached when right fielder Karim Garcia dropped a fly ball.
Torre pulled Hammond and replaced him with Anotonio Osuna, who was
activated Saturday from the disabled list after a groin injury. He
proceeded to give up a two-run double to Reed Johnson and a two-run single to
Howie Clark to increase Toronto's lead to 8-2. With one out, Jason Werth
doubled home another run before the Yankees opted for Al
"Hammy's been doing a good job for us and Osuna just got back," Torre
said. "It's just one of those things. I sense that knowing that we do have
inexperience there they may come in trying to do too much sometimes."
When asked if Osuna was limping when he came off the mound, Torre
said he was fine but noted, "We're limping because we got the [stuffing]
kicked out of us."
Reyes recorded a groundout but gave up an RBI
single to Vernon Wells, which put the Blue Jays up 10-2.
"At times it
feels like we do [need help in the bullpen] and sometimes it feels like
we're all right," Hammond said. "To stay in first place you've got to
feel confident all the time or most of the time."
In the sixth, the
Yankees showed their only flash of offensive life. With two out, Jeter
singled and Jason Giambi homered for the second night in a row to tie
the score at 2.
Halladay one-hit the Yankees through five innings,
allowing Posada a single. Alfonso Soriano was the only other
baserunner until the sixth. He reached on an error to start the
"You have to credit Halladay today," Torre said. "He took advantage.
We've been grinding some games out. We've had two outstanding games
pitched against us on this road trip. I think we try to be
opportunistic. ... We've been a little erratic with our run-scoring. That's just the way it
is. There's not a whole lot you can do about it because we have the
potential. We've been scoring a lot of runs, but lately it's been feast or
Vernon Wells hit a two-out homer in the first to put
Toronto up 1-0. The Blue Jays tacked on another run in the fourth. Carlos
Delgado singled to lead off and advanced on a single and a double-play
ball. He came home on a Johnson single.
Stephanie J. Geosits is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.