The despondency was as heavy within the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse as it has been all season, indicative of a team that is shooting down the American League East standing with alarming velocity.
One player Wednesday night was distraught by a pending visit to the disabled list while another spoke with disdain about getting hit by a pitch that could also cost him playing time.
A third spoke with barely concealed contempt about the short rightfield porch here at Yankee Stadium where once again a pop-gun home run early in the contest proved costly.
If you get the sense that the Blue Jays are reeling just a bit in the wake of yet another loss at the hands of their bitter rival, this one a 7-3 setback to the New York Yankees, it would not be an understatement.
“Maybe we don’t like the bright lights of Broadway, that’s all I can figure,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said sarcastically after the Yankees registered their 15th consecutive win at home over the Blue Jays, an incredible streak that dates back to late in the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
With the win, New York has shaved Toronto’s lead in the standing to 2.5 games and the Yankees will attempt to sweep the three-game series Thursday night.
Brett Cecil, the Toronto reliever, is the player who will be heading to the 15-day disabled list, unable to shake the pain from a groin injury he suffered in Baltimore on Saturday.
Cecil came into the game in the seventh inning in relief of Chad Jenkins with the bases loaded and one out and New York leading just 3-2 at the time.
Cecil promptly walked pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki for a 4-2 Yankee lead before Brian McCann swatted a bases-clearing triple to centre that made it 7-2.
McCann finished the game with five runs batted in.
All that was left was plenty of bemoaning afterward by the Blue Jays at the injustice of it all, led by Cecil, who revealed to reporters that his sore groin was going to necessitate a stint on the DL.
“I’m kinda’ wishing I’d have given it a few more days,” he said. “But I like to compete and I don’t like to sit on the sidelines and watch. If I think I’m good enough to get out there then I’m going to give them the okay to get me out there.
“It just stinks.”
Toronto third baseman Brett Lawre may have been more fortunate.
For the second time in less than a week he got hit by a pitch on the left hand and was forced from the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, unable to swing a bat without discomfort.
X-rays did not reveal any broken bones to the same hand that Lawrie broke several years back in the minors that required a lengthy rehab process, so the Blue Jays may have dodged a bullet on this one.
Lawrie’s condition is being listed as day-to-day.
“Not just this stadium, just getting hit in the hands in general,” Lawrie responded when asked if he’d had enough of Yankee Stadium. “I mean, twice in less than a week on the same hand. it’s just tough but one of those things that I’ll see what I feel like tomorrow.
“I don’t think it should be too bad, just a bone bruise or whatever.”
Which brings us to Mark Buehrle, the normally trustworthy Toronto starter who remained winless over his past 13 starts against the Yankees dating back to 2004.
Buehrle lost for the third consecutive outing to see his record dip to 10-4.
The veteran left was particularily irked by a McCann home run in the fourth inning that would have been an out at Rogers Centre in Toronto but cleared the wall here at Yankee Stadium.
After Toronto scored twice in the top of the inning for the lead McCann’s effort restored New York back on top at 3-2.
Brett Gardiner enjoyed a similar home run in Tuesday’s opener to right field that won New York the game.
“I think overall I pitched pretty good,” Buehrle said. “Gave up a fly ball to right field, that two run homer, end up losing the game. So same thing yesterday, we lost the game on a little 318-foot fly ball that ends up going out.
“Obviously this is the dimensions of the stadium, you’ve got to play with them. But that’s frustrating when you come out and battle, last night and tonight, and pretty much two losses on [that] short little porch over in right field.”