It’s a rare condition, this day and age, to read any good news on the newspaper page. It was a bad news series as the New York Yankees suffered a two-game mini-sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays were pulling out all the stops in their race for a wild card spot. Conversely, the Yankees can hop along and thank their lucky stars that the freaky series wasn’t any longer or worse.
This game was like your friend who returned home from college at Thanksgiving telling you about a bad acid trip. Yeah man, the baseball hit the roof twice, CC Sabathia pitched in relief, Stephen Tarpley almost got his head taken off, Gio Urshela’s hand turned purple (x-rays were negative), then the Family Matters theme song started playing and He-Man hit a walkoff homer and they threw chalk in his face! The long and winding contest ended with a 2-1 Yankees loss in 12 innings.
WE COULD ALL USE A HUG
The lone New York offensive output came in the way of a Cameron Maybin home run. Maybin’s solo shot to straightaway center off Yonny Chirinos in the third inning provided the Yankees with a 1-0 lead. Maybin’s tenth home run gave the Yankees 14 players with double-digit home runs, a new record.
It was another brutal loss for the Yankees, nearly getting no-hit and striking out 16 times. The 4-0 loss also included LeMahieu colliding with Choi at first base, Torres fouling a ball off his face and a Rays home run off a catwalk ring.
Jonathan Loaisiga didn’t have it and it showed right off the rip. Joey Wendle led off the game with a homer to straightaway center off a 2-0 fastball. Loaisiga also yielded an RBI-single to Brandon Lowe in his one inning of work.
Entering from the bullpen in the second stanza, J.A. Happ continued to provide New York with another solid outing. Happ fanned six in five frames, allowing one run on four hits and one walk. That run came off a Matt Duffy RBI-double to left in the sixth but Happ would get some help on the play as a hard-charging Judge covered second as Duffy strayed too far off the bag and recorded the putout.
Not that it mattered because as you saw, the Yankees didn’t hit, but Happ easily deserved to start this game.
If the Yankees match up against the Houston Astros in the ALCS, at least they won’t have to face Charlie Morton. Morton had his curve working and didn’t yield a hit until LeMahieu singled to right with two down in the sixth. Morton recorded nine K’s in his six frames.
Topping it off for the stupidity of Tropicana Field, Avisail Garcia took Luis Cessa deep off the catwalk ring in left, which Maybin caught on the rebound but it was a solo homer just the same in the eighth.
At 102-57, the Yankees’ two-step to Texas for their final regular-season series of the season in a three-game series against the Texas Rangers starting Friday evening.
Pitching probables: James Paxton vs. Joe Palumbo, Luis Severino vs. TBD, Masahiro Tanaka vs. Lance Lynn.