As 22-year-old Aaron Sanchez painted the outside corner for a called third strike against 40-year-old Derek Jeter to end the eighth, there, out in the bullpen, Blue Jays’ closer Casey Janssen popped to his feet to prepare for another ninth inning save opportunity in an eventual 2-0 win over the Yankees. Janssen was left standing for the three outs. Manager John Gibbons’ plan had been to allow Sanchez, the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ organization, to go back out and finish it. Which he did, retiring all six batters he faced and combining with starter Drew Hutchison on a one-hitter. “Yeah, I spoke to (Janssen) in Seattle a while back,” Gibbons said of bypassing the closer, even though he was fresh and ready. “No controversy. The name of the game is winning the game, right. We’re trying to maximize who (Sanchez) is. We don’t want to focus on back-to-back days unless we’re forced to. He goes out there and has one inning under his belt, easy. So we thought we’d ride him.” Janssen never sat back down. At first he peered through the wire fence with the look of a knothole kid dreaming of being out there on the mound. Later, he walked off to the side and leaned heavily against a wall. After the game, he leaned back in his locker working over his iPhone. “Last time I heard, I was the closer,” Janssen said, looking up dejectedly from his phone, in a non-confrontational, matter-of-fact tone. The longest-tenured Blue Jay with more than eight years of service, Janssen was asked whether he planned on speaking to the manager about his role for the final month within the next 24 hours, or maybe with the off day Monday at least before the trip to Tampa. After a lengthy pause to think carefully about his answer, Janssen said, “I’m not sure. I don’t know whether that (initiative) should come from me or him. I don’t know.” For the fourth straight game Jose Bautista homered for the Jays. But this time, instead of a solo blast as in the previous three, it was a two-run shot into the left-field seats in the first inning that gave starting pitcher Drew Hutchison room to breathe and he took advantage.
Blue Jays young guns Hutchison, Sanchez shut down Yankees
Toronto Star | Aug 31