Unfortunately, 2020 is another elimination year for the New York Yankees as they lost to their divisional rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 ALDS. Many anticipated that the fight that the team brought in to save their season with Game 4, would help them in Game 5. The momentum failed to translate.
The Yankees offense went three up and three down in the first inning with their first three batters. In the next inning, things got tricky for Gerrit Cole. Two walks and a hit by pitched put Brandon Lowe, Randy Arozarena, and Austin Meadows on base. After a mound visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, Cole found his rhythm and struck out second baseman Joey Wendle. The next inning Cole translated that same power in striking out the side.
With only two days of rest, comes a pitch limit. Kevin Cash took out starter Tyler Glasnow and replaced him with one of their better bullpen arms in Nick Anderson. Glasnow pitched two and a thirds innings with two walks allowed and two strikeouts and threw 37 pitches.
One spout of offense came alive in the fourth inning as Yankees’ star right fielder Aaron Judge took an opposite home run to right field. The Rays’ four outfielder shift did not help the situation.
An inning and a half later, Tampa Bay came back with a strike of their own when outfielder Austin Meadows hit a shot into the right-field seats. Aaron Judge hit his head on the wall and failed to rob Meadows of a game-tying hit.
Pete Fairbanks replaced Nick Anderson at the top of the sixth. However, that did not change much as the Yankees still failed to get their offense going. Anderson gave up one run, one hit, struck out two in two and two-third an innings pitched.
At 94 pitches, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone took out Cole and put in Zach Britton. Cole looked impressive on three days rest as he pitched five and third innings, allowing one hit, one run, struck out nine, and walked one.
Diego Castillo replaced Fairbanks at the top of the eighth. Fairbanks held the Yankees’ offense to only one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Halfway through the 7th inning, Boone made a pitching change and brought in closer Aroldis Chapman. Britton struck out two walked one and gave up one hit in one and third innings pitched.
The Big Mistake
Leaving Chapman in for two innings was a mistake Aaron Boone made before. In Game 6 of the ALCS, Chapman pitched the 8th and 9th innings, resulting in a walk-off, pennant-winning home run for Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros. A similar situation happened in this game.
Michael Brosseau had some history with Chapman and still does after Chapman nearly plunked him in the head at Yankee Stadium. Chapman struck out Brosseau to end the at-bat. Those events prompted a bench-clearing, in which words were said there and after the game by both sides. That includes both managers in postgame interviews.
Brosseau got his revenge in a lengthy ten pitch at-bat as he hit a towering home-run over Brett Gardner‘s head in left field. Chapman, much like in the Astros’ game, made a nervous smile.
The Rays’ celebrated their victory and even played “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately, the Yankees could not win for Whitey Ford, as the 91-year-old legend died earlier that day. This comes ten months and eight days after Don Larsen‘s passing.
Tampa Bay will move on to the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, as the New York Yankees will head home until February.