Rainfall signals Yankees' downfall vs. Jays

Bullpen unable to hold lead after delay forces Pineda's early exit

Rainfall signals Yankees' downfall vs. Jays

NEW YORK -- As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. But sometimes, it keeps pouring even after the rain has stopped.

In a slogging affair that featured a 42-minute rain delay, the Yankees allowed 15 hits to lose, 12-6, to the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, relinquishing a six-run lead and dropping to 5 1/2 games back of an American League Wild Card spot.

"This is a baseball game," said reliever Anthony Swarzak, who allowed four runs in the sixth inning. "You throw the ball, people hit the ball. Sometimes they catch it, sometimes they don't. It was unfortunate tonight that it all kind of happens at once. It looks terrible and it ruins a great start by [Michael] Pineda. When guys throw up six runs, it's 6-0 going into the sixth inning, there's no doubt you should win that ballgame."

Swarzak said that his main issue was control, as he left two bad pitches over the plate and Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin took advantage, mashing back-to-back home runs. Fittingly enough, though, Swarzak was only in the game because of something that was out of everyone's control.

Pineda cruised through the first five innings of the game, giving up just four hits without allowing a run, needing just 68 pitches to do so. But then the rain fell, and Pineda said that manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild didn't want to put him in danger of injury after the delay. So Pineda's night ended prematurely. And that's when the Yankees' issues began.

The Yanks used six relievers: Swarzak, Tommy Layne, Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve and Blake Parker. They combined to allow 12 earned runs on 11 hits, four of which were home runs. This is especially demoralizing given how well the bullpen has pitched over the last two weeks. Since Aug. 1, the day of the non-waiver Trade Deadline before which the Yankees traded both Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, Yankees relievers had combined to post a 2.66 ERA in 50 2/3 innings of work coming into Tuesday's game.

But to Swarzak, Tuesday's rough bullpen showing wasn't a harbinger of an impending regression. 

"This is a funny game sometimes," Swarzak said. "You leave pitches over the middle and that's what happens. They are a good lineup. I definitely give them credit. But I don't think anybody in this room took a step back tonight. No, we all have the same thing in mind, and that's to win every game. And tonight that didn't happen."

Warren, who was the losing pitcher after allowing four runs and recording just one out in the game's decisive eighth inning, agreed with that synopsis.

"It's tough, but it's almost just sometimes it happens like that," said Warren, who prior to Tuesday hadn't allowed a run in nine appearances as a Yankee this season. "Like I said, you just have to try to bounce back as quick as possible because there's another game coming tomorrow. You try to move from it and move on."

For the Yankees, moving on might just come with a reconfigured bullpen. With Luis Cessa moving to the starting rotation this weekend, the Yankees used every member of the bullpen Tuesday save for closer Dellin Betances. Despite this, Girardi did not commit to whether or not an overnight roster move will be necessary.

Nick Suss is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.