I’ll just get right to the chase: the New York Yankees are miserable to watch right now. They dropped another game to the Tampa Bay Rays in pathetic fashion to open the series, sending their record to 5-8 overall. The final score was 8-2, and the game was never close. Micheal Kay put it best on the broadcast–“Two words to sum this up: not pretty”–when the Yankees let up 2 runs on a Rougned Odor throwing error.
The Yankees are simply bad at all aspects of the game right now. The lineup continues to lie dormant. They made Michael Wacha and his 7 ERA look like Cy Young. Their defense is poor, and they made multiple crucial errors. Finally, their pitching continues to be a problem every day that Gerrit Cole doesn’t start.
The fans at the game were as bad as the Yankees have been playing lately. Frustrations reached a boiling point when fans made a coordinated effort to throw baseballs onto the field, which caused a delay of the game.
Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run to give the Yankees their only 2 runs. I won’t bother listing off names of which Yankees are struggling because only one Yankee starter has an OPS over .800. That one player is Aaron Judge, who has an OPS of .912
Yankees use the Opener
The Yankees went with Nick Nelson as the opener on Friday. To put it bluntly, Nelson was terrible. He had no command, and gave up 2 runs in his one inning of work. The opener strategy is a proven effective strategy, the problem the Yankees had was that Nelson simply isn’t a good pitcher. Nelson’s plus fastball and breaking pitches give him the potential to be an effective reliever. However his lack of command, and now two successive poor outings, does not inspire confidence moving forward.
Michael King followed with 3 shutout innings as the bulk pitcher. King looked sharp again, despite the home plate umpire missing multiple blatant strikes that were clearly in the zone. One such bad call resulted in a walk to Austin Meadows that loaded the bases in the 4th. To get out of the jam, King got Yandy Diaz to ground out, and Luis Cessa replaced him to start the 5th.
This is when the game got ugly. Cessa gave up 4 runs in the 5th, 2 of which would score on the before mentioned Odor error. Lucas Luetge mopped up the game from the 6th.
Rays Continue to Dominate Yanks
The fans continue to anguish over the Yankees recent woes against the Rays. The Rays arrogant squad and cocky manager make losses to them sting even more. There are an endless amount of narratives that make things feel even worse. The Rays dominated the Yankees in 2020, and eliminated them from the playoffs. The Yankees have an over 200 million dollar payroll versus the Ray’s 40 million. The Rays lost Blake Snell and Charlie Morton this offseason. They just lost a four game series against the lowly Texas Rangers, and were last in the AL East coming into Friday’s game. Despite all of that the Yankees continue to roll over like a dead fish when the Rays come into town.
I’ll make the obligatory “it’s early” statement, but the Yankees look really bad right now. The lineup has been shockingly bad, and things won’t get easier tomorrow when they will face Rays ace Tyler Glasnow.