Yankees Look Ugly, Lose Series to Tampa Bay

The New York Yankees dropped their series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-1, in a Thursday afternoon snooze fest.

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka got hit around a little bit in the top of the first inning, ultimately allowing two runs on doubles by Joey Wendle and Tommy Pham. The Pham double was a weird play, but it ultimately didn’t matter, so that’s good.

Basically, Pham doubled down the left field line and Joey Wendle scored. They tried to get Jake Bauers at third, but in a weird slide by Bauers and non-tag by Miguel Andujar, Bauers never actually touched third, but ran home and tried to score anyway as if he had. Andujar eventually ran him down, but Pham was able to advance to third amidst all the confusion. No more runs scored beyond the two that already had, but it was a weird ply, for sure.

After that inning, though, Tanaka really settled down. He ultimately went 6.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 9 hits, striking out 6 batters and walking none. Nine hits is a few too many, but they didn’t score so I am inclined to just ignore it. Tanaka also picked off a runner at first and then later a runner at second, which was cool.

Zach Britton came in and pitched a very effective seventh inning, a performance he very much needed, as it was his first good inning since his appearance against the Rangers, and he still walked a batter in that. The only appearance besides this one where he did not allow an earned run or a walk was in the 15-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox when it didn’t matter. Hopefully this was Britton’s turning point, striking out one in an 11-pitch scoreless inning.

David Robertson pitched the eighth and ran into a little trouble. He let up a leadoff single to Mallex Smith, who got all the way to third on an error in the next at bat. Smith would score after a sac bunt by Bauers. Robertson gave up a walk to Pham, but got Ji-Man Choi to ground out and then struck out Kevin Kiermaier to end the inning. I am not worried about him.

Tommy Kahnle pitched a scoreless ninth inning, too.

While the pitching was effective on the whole, this game, the offense was nowhere to be found. The Yankees hardly threatened to score in this one, eventually avoiding a shutout in the eighth inning on another weird play.

Imagine if replay didn’t exist for that one? I’m still not sure how they determined Giancarlo Stanton had to stay at second.

The Yankees threatened once more in the ninth, and the at one point should have one, according to win probability

Didi Gregorius hit a leadoff single off Sergio Romo, then Gleyber Torres battled to earn a bloop single and maybe work out of his slump. After a walk to Neil Walker, Romo left the game and the Rays turned to Adam Kolarek to get out of the bases loaded and nobody out jam.

Greg Bird fouled out on the first pitch to the new wing, which was the real turning point because now a ground ball could very realistically end the game. It was unacceptable for Bird to be swinging at the first pitch there and do absolutely no damage.

Kolarek then made late entries Brett Gardner and Austin Romine look silly in game-ending strikeouts.

Yankees lost 3-1 and have totaled two runs in their last two games. They will look to make up ground from this series loss when they play a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, beginning on Friday.


Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison

I am a direct product of the 1996 World Series Championship. I love talking about the Yankees, Knicks, Giants, or just about anything else! Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@BigBabyDavid_) and Instagram (@bigbabydavid)

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