Mark Buehrle's struggles against the Yankees have been well-documented. Going into last night, he hadn't beaten them since 2004, even though their roster has turned over more than a few times. After that win in '04, he suffered 14 straight losses. He has the worst record of any active pitcher with at least 10 decisions against a team.
When Toronto opened their season at Yankee Stadium last month, Buehrle was nowhere to be found. It appeared that John Gibbons had deliberately held him out of the series because of his terrible history against New York. That wasn't possible last night, so Gibbons did something else.
He didn't wait for a jam that never came. As soon as Buehrle got the lead, Gibbons got the bullpen going. Buehrle got through five innings, and Toronto's terrible bullpen was given the task of shutting down the Yankees for the remainder of the game. They rose to the occasion, and the Blue Jays beat the Yankees by a score of 5-1.
If they had not rose to the occasion, Gibbons' goal would have become obvious--or, more obvious than it already was: To prevent Mark Buehrle from losing his 15th straight game against the Yankees.
The reason for all of this? To give Buehrle confidence, of course. Will it work? I don't know the answer to that question. However, if the same question is asked of CC Sabathia, as Al Leiter has suggested it should be, the answer is likely a resounding 'no.' I think we're seeing the end of the line for CC, and it's a very sad end.
So, while there was help and hope for one big guy last night, there was nothing but helplessness and hopelessness for the other.