He was in a fix. Jay Bruce has been around the block a time or three, and has had more than his share of good moments against left-handed pitchers through the years, but you could see how uncomfortable it had to be for him as the shadows started to grow long at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Tim Mayza had been summoned from the Blue Jays’ bullpen just to face him. The bases were full of Yankees courtesy of three walks by Toronto right-hander Rafael Dolis. The Yankees led, 3-2, but with the back end of the bullpen in flux, that didn’t exactly feel like a safe cushion. And, you know, they were already 0-1 on the season.
Mayza was exactly what you’d expect from a lefty trotting in from the bullpen. And Bruce knew it wouldn’t be the most enjoyable at-bat he’d ever had.
“I know he has really good stuff,” Bruce said later. “Lately there are a lot more lefties throwing sinkers and he also has a hard slider. I was hoping to see something up a little, and not walk off the plate with the slider.”
Mayza started off with four straight sinkers, and they were all nasty: 93 at the knees, inside corner; 95 at the letters, just off the plate;…