If there is one team throughout major league baseball that causes the most headaches for the New York Yankees, it’s the Toronto Blue Jays.
Every moment the now hall-of-famer came to the Bronx, he’d be greeted by chants of “who’s your daddy?” followed by a nice spanking by the boys in Pinstripes.
Now, however, these Yankees seem to have elders of their own, and they are the Toronto Blue Jays.
Although they are 322-262 against Toronto in head-to-head match ups, they have succumbed to 13 of their last 17 games against the team North of the border including seven of the first nine meetings here in 2016 incorporating a run differential of -18.
That run differential includes this week’s series at the Rogers Centre in which they lost their fifth consecutive series against them for the first time since 1993.
Since the start of 2015, the Yankees are 8-20 (.286) with a run differential of -47. They have also fallen to them more times since 2014 (28) then they have to any other team in their division. No one has had their number quite like Toronto in this three-year stretch since the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did almost a decade ago.
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According to the NY times, the Angels were the only team in baseball to own a winning record against arguably the greatest Yankee team in 1998. Thanks to the incredible research by Baseball reference, the Angels were the only team to own a winning record against the Yankees from ’98-2008 with 57 wins and 45 losses.
So, no one in almost a decade has had the amount of success against the New York Yankees than the Toronto Blue Jays.
The worst part about this inability to defeat the Jays is that the sour taste from a year ago is still lingering after many presumed New York would be able to leave in the past.
The Yankees were 57-42 in 2015 and led the division by seven games prior to the trade deadline, then finished the season 30-33 and six games back of the Blue Jays. It was the first time in team history that the Yankees had a lead that healthy and failed to finish first.
By looking at the box scores between the two squads via Baseball Reference, the only way in which the Yankees have been able to slow down the unstoppable force is with lights-out starting pitching or a late rally en route to a come from behind win.
Take New York’s last three wins against their American League East foe for example. On May 24, 2016, Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings of two-hit ball as the Bombers won the contest in shutout fashion.
On April 12, the Yankees were trailing 2-1 before Brian McCann lifted a game-tying home run in the sixth followed by a Jacoby Ellsbury tie-breaking RBI single in the seventh inning to throw New York ahead and their lights-out ‘pen did the job to close the game out.
Last season on September 22, Greg Bird slammed a go-ahead three-run home run to give the Bombers a 6-4 lead, a score that they’d eventually win by.
So what these last two years have showed us is if New York doesn’t get lucky with stellar pitching or dramatic hitting, there’s no way the Yankees come close to defeating the athletic swagger of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yanks were denied their first division title since 2012 a year ago thanks to the high-octane offense that Toronto brought to the table and could easily be denied a playoff appearance again this season, if they weren’t already.
So, here’s a question to the Yankees: who’s your daddy…?