BRONX, N.Y. — It was bad enough that the New York Yankees were swept at home by the Tampa Bay Rays but the fashion in which they did so was embarrassing and inexcusable. Some of the mental errors they make in the field are mind-boggling. Who’s coaching these guys? Plus, with guys in and out of the lineup, it’s no wonder they can’t get into a rhythm. Oh, and they need about 2-3 more starting pitchers.
At 5-10, the Yankees are off to their worst start since 1997. That team won 96 games, earned the AL Wild Card, and was bounced in the ALDS.
There’s plenty of blame to go around but maybe this club could benefit from a much more stern voice in the clubhouse, be it a Buck Showalter or Willie Randolph. Something needs to change.
The Yankees were about as flat as a pancake in their 8-2 loss. They could only muster three hits with a garbage time Giancarlo Stanton home run in the seventh inning being the extent of their offense. Unfortunately, they had as many errors in an ugly loss.
YANKS CAN’T OUT RAY THE RAYS
Aaron Boone and the Yankees tried to get cute again with Nick Nelson as the opener. The Rays said, bruh, we invented that move.
Nelson lasted one inning and yielded a two-run double to Brandon Lowe during the first frame.
Michael King gutted out three scoreless frames. Yet, Yankee pitching added to its seven walks and the defense racked up two of their three errors in the fifth frame. Joey Wendle singled off Luis Cessa. After striking out Manuel Margot, Cessa yielded an RBI double to Mike Brosseau. An error by Gio Urshela enabled Willy Adames to reach. Following free passes to Mike Zunino and Austin Meadows, Rougned Odor couldn’t turn a double play and the Rays scored two more runs on a ground out. Brutal.
Poor Lucas Luetge took one for the team and tossed four frames and 52 pitches, allowing a two-run double to Zunino in the sixth inning.
THE NATIVES ARE GETTING RESTLESS AND UGLY
In the eighth inning, frustrated Yankee fans turned Yankee Stadium into the “snowball game” from years ago at Giants Stadium. Fans hurled about half a dozen baseballs, among other objects, onto the field at Rays’ players. I understand the frustration but it was not a great look.
The pep talk didn’t work. The pinstripes showed a bit more life but the results weren’t much better. New York dropped a 6-3 decision on the afternoon.
ON THE ROPES BUT CAN’T ROPE ONE
The Yankees worked Tyler Glasnow in the first frame but couldn’t cash in with the bases loaded. Brett Gardner grounded out to end the threat.
Yes, a fly ball or a well-timed base knock back up the box is welcomed with RISP. What’s also true is if you out-homer the opposition, you’re going to win more often than not. On Saturday, the Rays lineup took Yankee pitching deep on three occasions. Francisco Mejia took Jordan Montgomery deep in the second stanza for a 1-0 edge. A Manuel Margot two-run tater to center made it 3-1 in the fourth frame.
Joey Wendle increased the Tampa Bay advantage to 5-1 with a two-run homer to center in the seventh inning against Jonathan Loaisiga
While Odor would jolt a (Stephen Drew, bought me two more weeks on the team) solo blast to right in the home half, it was too little too late,
You can’t lose a Gerrit Cole game but somehow the Yankees managed to do that. Even Jay Bruce was like, I don’t want to watch this anymore. The Yankees probably could’ve used Bruce in the outfield, it was that bad. The 4-2 loss was about as sloppy and pathetic as it gets.
Surprisingly the Bronx Bombers jumped out to a nice start. Stanton smoked a solo smash to right, off Andrew Kittredge, during the second stanza for a 1-0 edge.
Cole was basically Jacob de Grom’d in this one. The third inning was, particularly embarrassing. Zunino singled to left. Kevin Kiermaier lofted a single in front of Aaron Hicks, who bobbled the ball and couldn’t record the force out of Zunino at second base. The ensuing batter Yandy Diaz singled to center and Hicks booted the ball, as Zunino scored and Kiermaier moved to third. Following a strikeout of Meadows, a Margot sac fly RBI to left gave the Rays a 2-1 advantage and on the play, Clint Frazier airmailed the ball beyond the cutoff man.
For his part, Cole retired 12 straight at one point struck out 10 on the afternoon. His 38 K’s through four starts are the most in franchise history, passing Masahiro Tanaka’s 35 in 2014. The Yankee ace also equaled Max Scherzer for the most 10+ strikeout games since 2018 with 34.
However, the Rays were able to break through in the seventh inning. Wendle lashed a one-out single to center. Yoshi Tsutsugo doubled past Hicks to plate Wendle, who would homer off Darren O’Day in the ninth inning.
At 5-10, the Yankees host the Atlanta Braves for a two-game series at Yankee Stadium, beginning Tuesday evening.
Pitching probables, Charlie Morton vs. Jameson Taillon, Ian Anderson vs. Corey Kluber.