Yankees-Rays: Series In Review

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    This past weekend (Aug. 7-9) the New York Yankees traveled to St. Petersburg, FL, for a 4 game set with the Tampa Bay Rays including a doubleheader on Saturday, August, 8th. Coming into this series, the Yankees split a 4 game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

    GAME 1: 1-0 L

    Masahiro Tanaka got the ball for the Yankees opposed by Blake Snell of the Rays. The Yankees could only muster up 2 hits all game, from DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman. Blake Snell who was still on his pitch limit restriction only worked 3 innings but allowed 0 runs on 0 hits and struck out 5. On the other side for the Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka got the ball, and he too dominated, he worked 5 masterful innings allowing 0 runs on 1 hit and striking out 5, he was also on a pitch limit as he is still working up his strength. Luis Cessa then came in for the Yankees and worked 2 innings allowing 1 hit and 0 runs, then Aaron Boone turned to a well-trusted righty, Adam Ottavino in the 8th, and he did not have his best stuff as he allowed 2 walks, and the only run of the game on a sac-fly to Michael Perez which came after Ottavino threw a wild pitch to put runners at 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. The Rays bullpen which is arguably the best in the MLB came in after Snell and worked 6 flawless innings, allowing 0 runs on 2 hits and striking out 4 over those 6 innings. The Yankees also left 17 runners on base in this game.

    New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) AP

    GAME 2: 8-4 W

    Saturday saw a doubleheader being played and game 1 featured 2 of the games best taking the bump, Gerrit Cole for the Yankees, and Tyler Glasnow for the Rays. Glasnow came out and got a 1-2-3 inning, then Gerrit Cole took the bump for the Yankees and after a leadoff single to Yandy Diaz, he struck out the next three batters including a 98 MPH fastball that got Yosi Tsutsugo looking. The Yankees bats forced the young Glasnow to throw a lot of pitches, as his command wasn’t the best throughout his start, oftentimes resulting in 3-2 counts to the Yankees hitters. That plan worked for the Yankees as lasted 2.2 innings in the first 7 inning game of the doubleheader, in those 2.2 innings, Glasnow threw 71 pitches and 40 of which were strikes. Glasnow allowed 4 earned runs on 5 hits and a big blow being a 2-run home run off the bat of Mike Ford who the Yankees on the boards, later on in the inning, Gio Urshela would tack on a 2 RBI double which chased Glasnow out of the game. Meanwhile, on the Yankees side, Gerrit Cole looked to have his best start of the year, but he just couldn’t finish it off as he went 4.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, all 3 runs coming in the 5th inning. Cole also added on 10 strikeouts to his very dominant start.

    GAME 3: 5-3 L

    In the 2nd game of the doubleheader, it would be a bullpen game for both teams as the Yankees sent out young Michael King to toe the slab opposed by submarine pitcher Ryan Thompson. The Rays wasted no time in scoring as Michael King walked in the first run of the game, after that the game didn’t get much better for the Yankees until the top of the 7th when Dj LeMahieu roped a 2-RBI double to make it a 5-3 game with 2 outs for arguably the Yankees best player Aaron Judge. Judge facing Nick Anderson one of the games best closers worked a 3-2 count and was putting up a great AB, Nick Anderson tried the jam Judge on the next pitch but missed his spot and Aaron Judge drove one deep to left-center, and it was caught right at the wall by Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, the whole Yankee dugout and I’m sure Yankee fanbase thought Judge got all of that one but he didn’t. Giancarlo Stanton got hurt in this game and will likely land on the IL, so 2 big losses for the Yankees in this game.

    DJ LeMahieu slides. (Chris O’Meara/AP)

    GAME 4: 4-3 L

    James Paxton took to the rubber in game four of the 4 games set looking to bounce back from his rough first 2 starts of the year, opposed by Rays ace, Charlie Morton. In the first Mike Ford DH’ing for the injured Giancarlo Stanton, gets hit on his elbow with the bases loaded which brought home the first run of the day. James Paxton looked locked in early even with his fastball velocity down from last season. Paxton was cruising through 6 innings until Mike Brosseau hit a 2-run home run to cut the Yankee lead down from 3 to 1. Brandon Lowe was the next batter and he hit a game-tying solo home run to right-center field, and as he was walking back to his dugout he was starring down the Yankees bench, after that Aaron Boone pulled Paxton and in came Holder, Holder got the final 2 outs in the 7th, then he worked the 8th and got into a bases-loaded jam, but luckily he got Hunter Renfroe to bounce into an inning-ending double play. The Yankees didn’t do anything at the top of the 9th, and going to the bottom of the 9th, Zack Britton came in and got into some trouble, then came Michael Perez who took over for Mike Zunino the last half-inning. Perez who was the hero from game 1 of the series got a sinker low and singled to the right field to walk-off the Yankees. Besides that Paxton struck out 11 in 6.1 innings allowing those 3 runs on 4 hits. The Yankee offense left 20 runners on base today which isn’t good vs the arms that the Rays threw out there after Morton’s injury, which I hope Morton is okay. The Yankees drop the 4 game set vs the Rays (3-1). The Yankees will be back in action on Tuesday, August 11th as they host the Atlanta Braves!! LGY!!

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