Coming off a series split in Philadelphia, the New York Yankees were looking to get back on track against an in-division opponent, the Tampa Bay Rays.
Two of Major League Baseball’s top teams go head-to-head at the Trop for a four-game set. Must watch television, play ball!
Game 1 Final: Yankees 0, Rays 1
Probables: Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 3.38 ERA) vs Blake Snell (0-0, 5.40 ERA)
Win / Loss: (TB) Roe / (NYY) Ottavino
In a pitchers duel in game one of the four-game set at Tropicana Field, both starting pitchers came to the rubber and impressed. For New York, it was Masahiro Tanaka making his second start of his 2020 campaign.
The right-hander tossed an almost perfect five innings while allowing just one base runner. After tossing five innings with five strikeouts on 59 pitches, Tanaka handed the ball to the bullpen to keep the floor sturdy.
In the first game of the four-game set, Tampa Bay Rays’ manager Kevin Cash sent out former Cy Young award winner Blake Snell to take control of the game. Although only lasting three innings, the arms of five different bullpen arms held the Yankees lineup to a standstill.
Both offenses were held to a minimum, tallying a mere two hits per team. New York’s pair of hits came from DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman, while Tampa Bay’s hits were from Yandy Diaz and Kevin Kiermaier.
The game’s only scoring production began with two late-inning walks via Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino. Following, a wild pitch advanced the two runners to place them in scoring position with one out. A deep fly ball hit by Martin Perez allowed Yoshi Tsutsugo to score on a sacrifice fly.
New York’s offense was unable to make any noise at the plate as they fall short, 1-0, to end game one in Tampa Bay.
Player of the Game: SP Masahiro Tanaka: 5 IP, 5 K, H, 59 P
Game 2 Final: Yankees 8, Rays 4 F/7
Probables: Gerrit Cole (3-0, 2.55 ERA) vs Tyler Glasnow (0-0, 3.12 ERA)
Win / Loss: (NYY) Green / (TB) Glasnow
Kicking off a mid-series double-header was a premier pitching matchup between two of the game’s elite arms in Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow.
What was set up to be a pitching showdown ultimately turned out in favor of the New York Yankees’ lineup.
Zero’s on the board through three, New York’s Mike Ford began the Yankees’ four-run fourth with a moon-shot off a Tyler Glasnow fastball, which put two on the board. Adding two more in the inning was Gio Urshela on a two-run double.
Gerrit Cole had insurance runs in his back pocket and felt comfortable with a four-run lead heading into the fifth.
Approaching a triple-digit pitch count, Cole was getting fatigued towards the later innings of his start. Unable to locate his pitches, the right-hander allowed three runs in his last inning of work. A double by Ji-Man Choi and a two-run home run by Jose Martinez knocked Cole out of the game after 4.2 innings of work.
Although unable to pick up the statistical win, Gerrit Cole looked the best he has in pinstripes this season. A final line of 4.2 innings pitched, six hits, three earned runs, and 10 K’s summarize how the flamethrower concluded his start.
Adding one more to the Rays’ score total, Kevin Kiermaier grounded out while Hunter Renfroe scored.
Also tallying in another run to the Yankees’ total, Gio Urshela connected on a sacrifice fly which allowed Mike Tauchman to score.
That’s your final in game one of the doubleheader at Tropicana Field. New York comes out on top 8-4.
Player of the Game: OF Aaron Judge: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Game 3 Final: Yankees 3, Rays 5 F/7
Probables: Michael King (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Ryan Thompson (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
Win / Loss: (NYY) King / (TB) Fairbanks
Looking for win their second game of the day and enter the rubber match of the series with confidence, the New York Yankees sent young right-hander Michael King to the mound.
King, making his second appearance in his 2020 campaign, ran into traffic early. Adding up five walks and three earned runs in just 3.2 IP is never a good showing. The Yankees bullpen looked to sway the tides of the game, but only made matters worse. The arms of Luis Avilan and Albert Abreu tallied on four more walks and earned runs.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup capitalized on the poor pitching performance by getting deep into counts and letting the Yankees pitching staff make mistakes.
A first inning walk with the bases loaded opened the scoring for Tampa Bay as Austin Meadows crossed home.
Creating damage to the Yankees score column was first baseman Luke Voit as he singled to center that scored Giancarlo Stanton.
The Rays offense connected on more mid-game production from hot bats. Austin Meadows, with a run already, singled that brought two home to extend the lead. Kevan Smith also scored one with an RBI Single. At this point, it was 5-1 Tampa Bay in the fifth.
No lead is safe when around the New York Yankees as their powerful lineup can strike back at any time. Down to his final strike, DJ LeMahieu singled which led Gio Urshela to score. A possible spark that could ignite a comeback?
Down three, two men on, Aaron Judge at the plate. A storybook chapter. Staying alive in an eight pitch at bat, Judge connected on a ball and sent it deep into the air, but at the warning track was Kevin Kiermaier to seal the deal.
Tampa Bay steals game two of the double header with a score of 5-3, on behalf of a lackluster Yankees bullpen.
Player of the Game: 1B Luke Voit: 2-3, RBI Single
Game 4: Yankees 3, Rays 4
Probables: James Paxton (0-1, 13.50 ERA) vs Charlie Morton (1-1, 5.52 ERA)
Win / Loss: (TB) Thompson / (NYY) Britton
With eyes zoned in on splitting the four game series at Tropicana Field, a pitching matchup between Charlie Morton and James Paxton was the deciding factor in the rubber match.
Adding a run to the Yankees score column, Mike Ford “took one for the team” and was hit by a Charlie Morton pitch to allow DJ LeMahieu to score.
Jumping to the fifth, a fielding error by Rays outfielder Manuel Margot led Gio Urshela safe at third while two scored. This added a plethora of momentum towards the Yankees dugout while holding a steady 3-0 lead.
With a tired and weak bullpen in hand, many may question Aaron Boone’s managerial decision by leaving Starter James Paxton in the game for too long.
Leaving Paxton in one more final inning, this played pivotal as he allowed three runs off of two home runs. In 6.2 innings, the left-hander was given a ‘No Decision’ for his start.
With a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, Boone called in Zack Britton to try and extend the game into extra innings. But singling to right, Michael Perez scored Brandon Lowe which wrapped things up in Tampa Bay.
Via a walk-off single, Tampa Bay comes out on top in the rubber match with a final score of 4-3. Kevin Cash and Tampa Bay take the series three games to one.
Player of the Game: SP James Paxton: 6.1 IP, 11 K, 3 ER, 4 H, BB, 87 P
Player of the Series: 2B / 1B DJ LeMahieu: 5-14, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
Upcoming Series: Aug 11-12 vs Atlanta Braves
Photo: SB Nation