Brett Cecil was available out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen last night against the Yankees after taking five days off to rest a groin injury, but the former All-Star setup man walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a bases-clearing triple to Brian McCann.
He was then removed from the game and immediately afterward told reporters that he’s headed to the disabled list, saying:
It stinks, but I said I was ready to go today, everything felt good, but I also said I don’t know how it’s going to hold up under the adrenaline of coming out of the bullpen, especially in Yankee Stadium, bases loaded. If I can’t deal with that, then I need to get it taken care of.
It’s a little odd that the Blue Jays would throw Cecil into such a difficult spot if his health status was still in any sort of question, but Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that he’d had problem-free bullpen sessions earlier this week.
Cecil hasn’t allowed a home run this season and his strikeout rate is a career-high 12.3 per nine innings compared to 10.4 per nine innings last season, but he’s walked 16 batters in 26 frames to be much less reliable than in his All-Star campaign.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.