Variation on an over-shift

These over-shifts employed by teams against certain dead pull hitters get weirder by the day. In the second inning Thursday with Curtis Granderson at the plate for the Yankees, the Blue Jays went with an over-shift that had third baseman Brett Lawrie trot across the diamond and play in shallow right field.

Most such shifts merely move each infielder over one position. The one used by Jays manager John Gibbons was interesting because it allowed the second baseman and shortstop to remain in their usual spots. For the life of me I still do not understand why batters don’t take advantage of these defense and bunt their way on. I know Yankees fans would prefer that Granderson put one in the seats, but with two outs and nobody on what’s wrong with getting on base? Granderson swung away, of course, and flied out to left field.

The Blue Jays utilized the same formation when Granderson came to bat in the fifth inning. This time he did exactly what the fans wanted and drove his fourth home run of the season into the second deck in right field. That matched the homer J.P. Arencibia had hit in the top of the inning for the Blue Jays, who later loaded the bases before Rajai Davis grounded into an inning-ending double play.

There must have been a great measure of satisfaction for Granderson because his home run was off Jays lefthander J.A. Happ, the same pitcher who hit him with a pitch and broke his right wrist during spring training.

With Toronto making its final appearance at Yankee Stadium this season, the clubs were determined to get the game in and sat through a 3-hour, 32-minute rain delay before the first pitch was thrown by Andy Pettitte at 4:37 p.m. just as the sun broke through for the first time in the afternoon.

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