BRONX, N.Y. — Well, at least the New York Yankees don’t have to play the Tampa Bay Rays for the rest of the regular season. It was yet another uninspiring series with the Yankees mostly falling behind early and never recovering. You wonder how much difference not having fans makes because this was sleep-inducing stuff.
It was the night that Yankees Twitter cracked and lost its mind on Gerrit Cole. If you look at his stats from 2019, it’s pretty comparable from the early going. Yet, coming off the Subway Series, the Yankees were hoping to ride the Cole train to some momentum against their division rivals. It didn’t help that offense was derailed early on as well in the 5-3 loss.
LUMP OF COLE
Right from the get-go Cole was off. Ex-Yankee Ji-Man Choi, who reached base five times, took Cole yard in the first frame for a two-run homer to right. Cole also yielded a solo homer to Kevin Kiermaier during the second stanza. He would allow four runs total and only last through five frames, throwing 103 pitches. It was a slog, to say the least.
Nick Nelson wold allow the fifth Rays run on a sixth-inning single by Choi.
BOMBERS SHOW SIGNS OF LIFE
After being no-hit for 5.1 frames by Tyler Glasnow, the Bronx Bombers finally broke through against the Rays bullpen in the seventh inning. Gio Urshela took Edgar Garcia deep to right and the pinstripes closed within 5-1.
An inning later, Luke Voit kept his mashing marathon going, crushing a two-run round-tripper to left.
DJ LeMahieu was inspired nearly 25 years to the day Paul O’Neill hit three home runs in a game against the California Angels. LeMahieu set the tone in the first frame, taking Trevor Richards deep to left with a solo homer. The Yankee second baseman returned for more in the third inning, smashing a solo shot to right for a 2-0 advantage.
Masahiro Tanaka showed a lot of the good from his previous outing at Atlanta and picked up steam on the stamina front. Tanaka provided the pinstripes with six strong frames, fanning seven, yielding three hits, one walk, and two runs. The one blip was an obligatory home run allowed to Kiermaier in the fifth inning, a two-run laser to right to square the game at two.
Otherwise, it was an encouraging outing and hopefully a sign of good things to come.
LITTLE LEAGUIN’ ‘EM
The turning point came in the sixth inning with Urshela facing Ryan Thompson with two on and one out. Urshela smashed a double to right-center that alluded Kiermaier. An errant throw by shortstop Willy Adames, coupled with a sweet swim move by Urshela, enabled him to complete the “Little League home run” for a 5-2 Yankee advantage.
Adames would atone for that somewhat by homering off Jonathan Loaisiga in the seventh inning but the solo swat wasn’t enough.
After Zack Britton posted a scoreless eighth inning in a triumphant return, Aroldis Chapman came on to seal the deal in the ninth inning.
Chapman’s ninth was smooth but not without drama. With two down, Chapman’s first pitch to Mike Brosseau was a fastball that sailed above his helmet. Warnings were issued. Chapman whiffed Brosseau to end the contest. Then the benches and bullpens cleared and “threats” were made during postgame interviews. These teams do not like each other.
The next day, Chapman, Aaron Boone, and Kevin Cash would all receive suspensions from MLB.
The one was over before it started. Jordan Montgomery had nothing early and the offense couldn’t dig out of the hole. A grueling bullpen game for both. This game also had a drone delay, which I did not have on my 2020 bingo card. It all added up to a 5-2 loss.
CRYING JORDAN MEME
Montgomery had less than nothing. He allowed five consecutive hits, including home runs to Randy Arozarena and Brosseau. The Yankee southpaw yielded four runs in the first frame while recording two outs before his evening was done.
Brosseau would pop another home run in the fourth frame, a solo swat off of Jonathan Holder.
During the fifth inning, Ben Heller plunked Hunter Renfroe with a seemingly innocuous pitch. Yet, the umpiring crew huddled and decided to eject Heller. Never mind that other players were being thrown at up and in on both teams but oh well.