Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yankee Stadium: The Blue Jays' New House of Horrors


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To say that Yankee Stadium has not been very kind to the Toronto Blue Jays the past few years would be a huge understatement. To say that Yankee Stadium has chewed up the Toronto Blue Jays and spit them out would probably be a fair assessment.

Although Tropicana Field was dubbed by John Gibbons earlier this year as the Blue Jays' modern day "House of Horrors", Yankee Stadium is very close to supplanting Tropicana Field as the next most unfortunate place to play on the road for the Blue Jays.

Last night's loss to the Yankees marked the fifteenth consecutive loss at Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays haven't won a game in the Bronx dating back to August 29th, 2012.

During those 15 games, the Blue Jays have scored a grand total of 40 runs, which averages out to 2.66 per game. While at the same time, their pitching staff has surrendered 77 earned runs, or 5.13 runs per game at Yankee Stadium. That's a run differential of -33.

Go back to 2011, and the Blue Jays own a 4-26 record in their past 30 games played in the Bronx. Compare that to Toronto's 8-22 record against the Rays at Tropicana Field since 2011, and you have two ballparks which have been the Blue Jays kryptonite.

And it's not just the losses which have haunted the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, it's the laundry list of injuries which the team has sustained while on the road in New York.

There's Brett Lawrie diving into the camera well, Jose Bautista's season-ending wrist injury in 2012, and then again last night with the injury to Brett Lawrie and Brett Cecil landing on the disabled list.



For whatever reason, whenever the Blue Jays arrive to the Bronx, their bats go seemingly cold and their pitching staff gets roughed up beyond all means.

Some say it might be the short porch in right field, some say it might be the preferential treatment the Yankees get from the umpires get on their own turf, but those problems are hardly unique to just the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the case of the Blue Jays series winless streak in Tampa Bay dating back to 2007, it's somewhat understandable because that coincides with the Rays sudden rise to prominence in 2008.

That streak at Tropicana Field is also a bit of an anomaly; there have been a few four-game series splits sprinkled in there, but the Blue Jays have just been flat-out dominated by the Yankees on the road the past three seasons.

Even if they can squander a win later tonight, the Blue Jays likely can't escape New York fast enough. They'll return for a three-game set at the end of June, followed by another four-game series close to the end of September.

While these games in June mean just as much as games in September, I have a feeling that series at Yankee Stadium close to the end of the season may go a long way to deciding both team's postseason fates.

Image courtesy of AP Photo/Kathy Willens

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