The Blue Jays appear comfortably in the playoffs, and the Yankees solidly out, so why not devote a late September divisional game almost entirely to beefing, and the settling of said beefs, and to setting up beefs to come?
This one was a classic beanball war, with Luis Severino hitting Josh Donaldson in the first, then J.A. Happ throwing behind Chase Headley in the second. With the very next pitch, Happ fixed his aim and hit Headley on the hip. Benches and bullpens emptied, but only a warning was issued, which pissed off Joe Girardi.
“I was mad because Happ hit him on purpose and he had one shot,” Girardi said after the game. “You throw it behind the guy and you miss, I mean, he’s got to be tossed. That’s terrible, it’s terrible.”
In the bottom of the second, Severino barely missed Justin Smoak, then got him with his next pitch. And that’s when the fun began:
Severino and Girardi were ejected, the Yankees’ Tyler Austin came out with what might’ve been the start of a shiner, and Toronto’s Joaquin Benoit and Devon Travis appeared to hurt themselves in the melee.
“Teams have been taking pot-shots at us all year long,” manager John Gibbons claimed afterward. “Some guys just got tired of it, I think that’s what happened.”
The Yankees got the immediate last laugh (before, you know, one team goes to the playoff and the other goes home) with a five-run ninth inning and a 7-5 win. Mark Teixeira tied the game with a solo shot, and then celebrated with what he said was the very first bat flip of his career, which ends next weekend.
“I’ve never done it before,” Teixeira said. “Like I said, it could be the last home run I hit. So why not bat flip on it? Sure.”
With the leftover emotion from the early part of the game, this one was personal. Teixeira was asked if Toronto closer Jason Grilli said something to him as he rounded the bases. “He might have,” Teixeira responded. “I was like, ‘Sorry, the ball went a long way.’”
Teixeira had some words for Grilli from the dugout:
That’d be “blown save.”
These teams don’t face each other again this season. Pity.