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Jansen lifts Blue Jays past Yankees as Bassitt delivers another masterful outing


TORONTO – The noise from the tumultuous start to this Toronto Blue Jays-New York Yankees series quieted Wednesday, the game on the field keeping a lid on the volatile mix of emotion, suspicion and mistrust lingering between the clubs.

Chris Bassitt was brilliant in duelling Gerrit Cole into the late innings, adding seven shutout frames to a scoreless streak now at 27 innings, the third-longest in franchise history.

Pitcher

Innings

Year

Dave Stieb

34

1988-89

Roger Clemens

33

1998

Chris Bassitt

27

2023

Tom Henke

26.2

1989

Scott Downs

26

2008

Brett Cecil

26

2015

Paul Quantrill

25

2000-01

Mark Eichhorn

24

1986

Ricky Romero

24

2009

Roy Halladay

24

2009

Leverage relievers on both sides walked tightwires in and out of trouble until Wandy Peralta finally fell, knocked down by a Danny Jansen three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th for a 3-0 Blue Jays victory.

After Jordan Romano followed a clean ninth with another zero in the 10th, striking out Anthony Rizzo with runners at second and third to keep the game 0-0, Whit Merrifield opened the bottom half with a grounder up the middle that Anthony Volpe booted for New York’s third error of the night.

That left runners on the corners for Alejandro Kirk, who grounded into a five-man infield for the first out before Jansen, with his second walk-off hit of the week, sent Peralta’s first pitch over the wall in left to electrify a crowd of 27,431.

The win gives the Blue Jays a chance to split this four-game set Thursday when Jose Berrios starts against Nestor Cortes.

In that way, the game marked a return to relative normalcy after the heightened vigilance and scrutiny that followed when Sportsnet broadcast cameras captured both Aaron Judge and Jake Bauers taking sideways glances moments before Jay Jackson delivered in the eighth inning of Monday’s opener.

Tuesday’s 6-3 Yankees win was a total Gong Show, with coaches from both sides screaming at one another, Domingo German getting ejected after umpires found a foreign substance on his hand and Judge capping things off with a go-ahead two-run shot.

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As intriguing as all that was, the baseball tribalism that flowed, as a result, was similarly compelling, from the rationalizers eager to rally behind Judge and excuse away his actions Monday to the angrily aggrieved ready to point out one side’s infractions while overlooking another’s.

One example came during John Schneider’s pre-game session, when he was asked if Jay Jackson’s admission to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he was tipping pitches changed his perspective on what happened, as if that’s supposed to negate all wrongs.

“No,” Schneider replied. “Not for me.”

For others, though, it did, and lost is how different things can be true at the same time.

The Blue Jays need to be tighter in what they’re doing on the field – the club immediately flagged Jackson’s tipping and doubled down on catcher positioning – and the Yankees’ base coaches shouldn’t be way down the lines peeking in on opposing pitchers and passing along what they see.

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Somewhat overlooked in the ensuing discourse is that while video of the sketchy peeks brought the Yankees’ shenanigans into the public eye, their actions are of little surprise within the game, the Blue Jays included.

The sport’s fraternity of players, coaches and executives is small and they talk. Bringing attention to the matter forced Major League Baseball to get involved and after some back and forth Tuesday, Yankees base coaches Travis Chapman at first and Luis Rojas at third were locked into the coaches’ boxes all night Wednesday without incident.

The focus may also lead to increased awareness by other clubs against the Yankees down the road, although their reputation for identifying tells and tendencies largely precedes them.

What transpired in Toronto this week will only turn up the heat between the clubs.

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“Whenever there are two good teams that are familiar with one another, yeah, it can get a little competitive and heated at times, and probably do or say some things that you wouldn’t say if it wasn’t in the heat of the moment,” said Schneider. “You can say that about basically any team in our division right now.”

Sure, but about the Yankees more than anyone, which is what made Wednesday’s win so satisfying for the Blue Jays.

Bassitt was masterful from the first pitch onward, allowing two batters to reach only once, in the second. He allowed three hits, a walk and hit a batter – it was Anthony Rizzo, clearly by accident, in the sixth – while striking out seven.

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