The teams are playing again on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, with left-hander Ricky Romero starting for Toronto against Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia. It's an exciting potential duel of No. 1 starters, to be sure, but the eye-popping numbers of the headlining homer hitters have everyone talking.
Bautista added to his MVP start in Monday night's win in the Bronx, hitting his Major League-leading 19th long ball in the first inning and drawing two walks. Granderson, meanwhile, is second in the Majors behind Bautista, with 16 homers, and has 30 homers since Aug. 14, 2010, marking the second most in the Majors over the span, behind Bautista's 37.
Granderson has gotten off to an uncharacteristically power-laden start, too. He did not hit his 16th homer in 2010 until Sept. 2, in his 109th game, when he also hit his 17th.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been busy marveling at what Bautista is accomplishing this year after his breakout 54-homer campaign in 2010, but he's finding similarities with his own player.
"It's two guys that have made adjustments and become big power hitters," Girardi said. "And they're both complete players. You watch Bautista play, and you can talk about his hitting and his power numbers, but he's a very good defender, very good baserunner, he throws. And Curtis is the same way."
Girardi said that Bautista has been so locked in this year, he has overcome any perceived weaknesses that could be picked up by viewing video.
"You're not finding it on Bautista," Girardi said. "He's making people pay at an alarming rate. It's good at-bats. You don't see him chase a ton of pitches, and he's patient. He's doing what it takes to be a great player."
Bautista, meanwhile, said that he and Granderson have stayed in touch over the last few offseasons but "haven't really talked about the home runs at all." He added that he admires what Granderson is accomplishing, although it doesn't surprise him.
"He's having a great year," Bautista said. "I feel happy for him. He's a guy that works really hard, and it's paying off. He has had a great career. It's not like this is too out of hand for him."
And Bautista's thoughts on, well, Bautista?
"I expected myself to perform," he said. "I'm not talking about the home runs, but I expected myself to play well just because now I know I did it once, and knowing that if I kept my focus and the approach that led me to the success, that I was going to be able to repeat it. It is somewhat gratifying knowing that a lot of people were somewhat skeptical about what happened last year, and I guess I'm proving them wrong."
Blue Jays: Romero in fine form
Romero is 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts on the road. He earned the win in his most recent start, on May 19 vs. Tampa Bay, in which he gave up one run on three hits in seven innings while striking out six. He's 3-2 with a 5.31 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees. Overall, he has held right-handed hitters to a .203 average in 2011 with a .341 slugging percentage, and left-handed hitters have batted .234 while slugging .403.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia leads all rookies in home runs, with eight. It's already the most long balls by a Blue Jays rookie catcher in a season in club history. The previous best was five, shared by Pat Borders (1988) and Greg Myers (1990).
In 19 relief appearances this season, Casey Janssen has allowed one run in just two games. He has not allowed a run over his last 6 1/3 innings and has allowed just two earned runs over his last 11 1/3 innings (1.59 ERA).
Yankees: CC finally faces Jays in Bronx
Strangely, Tuesday marks Sabathia's first career start vs. the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. The big lefty last started on May 19, at Baltimore, tossing eight scoreless innings in a 13-2 victory, giving up seven hits and striking out nine. He is 9-3 with a 3.11 ERA in his career against Toronto. His last start against the Blue Jays came on Sept. 28, 2010, when he defeated them at Rogers Centre with 8 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball in his final start of the regular season. It was his 21st victory of the year.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is batting .484 with three home runs, one double, four RBIs, seven runs and one walk in his last seven games.
First baseman Mark Teixeira has seven RBIs over his last five games (May 19-23) immediately following a stretch of recording just six RBIs over his previous 25 games (April 20 to May 18).
Jays outfielder Rajai Davis leads his team with 12 stolen bases this season in just 28 games. Over his last 13 games, he is batting .347 with three doubles, a triple, four RBIs, five stolen bases and six runs. ... Girardi has 312 career wins as Yankees manager and needs one more to tie Buck Showalter for eighth place on the franchise's all-time list. ... Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched in his 999th career game on Wednesday at Baltimore. With his next appearance, he will become the 15th pitcher in Major League history to reach the 1,000-appearance plateau and the first to reach the total with one team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.