SAN DIEGO, Calif. — For the eleventh consecutive year, a New York Yankees season has ended in failure. The Yankees came up short, falling 2-1 in their ALDS Game 5 to the Tampa Bay Rays. There will be plenty of questions for later. Does the organization bring back general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone? Will the team back up the brinks truck for Trevor Bauer? Do they trade for Francisco Lindor? Can we re-sign DJ LeMahieu already?
Say what you will of the truncated 60-game slate but the deficiencies on this squad were exposed in the postseason. Yes, they were without Luis Severino, James Paxton, and Tommy Kahnle. No, they did not address those losses at the trade deadline. Plus, they still have no idea what they want to do with Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andujar.
Circling back to Game 5, the Yankees had everything set up to succeed but were too top-heavy and lacking depth in the end.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Rays went to Nick Anderson, for Tyler Glasnow in the fourth frame. Aaron Judge parked a solo homer to right off a 1-0 fastball for the 1-0 edge. Unfortunately, that was the entire offense.
Gerrit Cole pushed all that he could on three days rest. Cole tossed 5.1 frames, fanned nine, and yielded one run. Cole wiggled in and out of trouble in the first inning but he didn’t allow a hit until the fifth. He probably could’ve gone even further if not for a Gleyber Torres error which prolonged the fourth inning. In the fifth, the Rays broke through against Cole with an Austin Meadows solo swat to right-center for the equalizer. Judge may have had a chance at robbing the home run but hit his head on an overhang. Are we playing at the Trop? Yikes.
With two on and two out in the sixth inning, Luke Voit struck out against Pete Fairbanks to end the threat.
Zack Britton rolled from the sixth into the seventh and probably should’ve been allowed to finish the inning but was lifted for Aroldis Chapman. Yet, Chapman froze Brandon Lowe to end the frame.
In a dubious move in the eighth, Boone pinch-hit Mike Ford for Kyle Higashioka. Ford, who has barely played, let alone hit, struck out against Diego Castillo. In fairness, none of the other Yankee bats were doing much of anything either.
As the game moved to the bottom of the eighth, Chapman spit the bit for the second consecutive season. Chapman, who threw above the head of Mike Brosseau earlier in the season, probably wished he could’ve been serving his suspension. Brosseau clocked a one-out laser to left for the eventual game-winning homer.