As the New York Yankees enter a 3 game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, expectations are at an all-time high. After the team struggled during April against the Rays with only 1 win out of 5 games played, the team wins 2 out of 3 games in this series.
Tuesday, May 11th – Game 1 Yankees Win 3-1
Jordan Montgomery pitched his 7th start as he looked to bounce back against the Rays. With a dominant performance, his only mistake was during the 3rd inning against Mike Zunino who hit a monster 472-ft home run. After that, his pitches were alive and his changeup was filthy with movement. Montgomery also tied his all-time strikeouts during this game at 9 Ks. His stat line was 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 SO. Jonathan Loaisiga came out the bullpen dealing as he went 2 shutout innings pitched and 1 strikeout. Aroldis Chapman was called to close the game out with 2 run lead. Chapman has been unhittable as he earns himself his 8th save of the season.
The Yankees’ offense was quick to set the pace of the game as Aaron Judge hit a laser solo home run to center field off of Luis Patino. During the 3rd inning, DJ LeMahieu hit a single to right field and Giancarlo Stanton walks. After a mound visit from the Rays, Mike Zunino allowed a passed ball, moving both runners to 2nd and 3rd. The veteran catcher allowed another passed ball that scored DJ, Yankees lead 2-0. In the top of the 7th inning, Gary Sanchez showed off his power as he homered to the opposite field. The Yankees win 3-1 against the Rays enough run support to win.
Wednesday, May 12th – Game 2 Yankees win 1-0
Gerrit Cole was set to pitch his 8th start and add to his magical season. He was filthy as he went 8 full innings with no earned runs. He also has reached 1,500 career strikeouts in just 212 games, being the 2nd fastest pitcher to ever reach this. Now because the Rays have gotten to him in the past, this was a very impressive start. His stat line was 8 IP, 4 H, 0R, 0 BB, 12 SO and he now has a 1.37 ERA. Aroldis Chapman closed out the game in the 9th and earned himself his 9th save of the season. There were questions about whether Gerrit Cole should’ve completed the game or not as he reached 106 pitches. Cole said, “It was probably best to go to Chappy there. It was such a tightrope for a while. It was a smart decision.”
The Yankees Offense was shut down until the 7th inning. In a tied scoreless ballgame, Aaron Judge hit a single to left field and Gio Urshela hit a double to center field, moving Judge to 3rd. After, a strange move by the Rays manager Kevin Cash brings in Jeffrey Springs, a lefty reliever. This moved Aaron Hicks to bat right-handed where he has had better success all season so far. He hit a sac fly to center field that scored Gio Urshela. That was all the Yankees’ offense the whole game as they won 1-0 against the Rays.
Thursday, May 13th – Game 3 Rays Win 9-1
Jameson Taillon continues to struggle on the road as he only pitched 4 innings against the Rays. Taillon struggled early in the first inning as he gave up a single to Manuel Margot and a double to Brandon Lowe. Yandy Diaz gives the Rays an early lead from a 2 run single. In the top of the 3rd inning, He quickly walks Randy Arozarena and then a 2 run homerun to Austin Meadows. His command was the weakness from his outing although he did rack up a decent amount of strikeouts. His stat line was 4.2 IP, 4 R, 2 BB, 9 SO.
After Taillon’s outing, Michael King was called in to pitch the 6 and 7th inning. In the bottom 6th, King gave up a walk to Joey Wendle and a single to Kevan Smith. Randy Arozarena then hit a 3 run home run to blow the game open, 7-0 Rays. Justin Wilson also struggled as he gave a single to Brett Phillips and a walk to Arozarena. In the next at-bat, Austin Meadows hit a 2 run double, Rays lead 9-0. The offense on the other hand was very quiet with only 5 hits as they prevented being shut out during the 9th. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs by a Gio Urshela single, a Gary Sanchez double, and a walk from Mike Ford. Clint Frazier then grounds into a double play that brought in their only run.
The Yankees win the series and start a new 3 game series against the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow. Something to look out for is the offense. The hitting has been fairly quiet this week with wins carried by our pitching. Overall, decent series win at Tropicana Field as the Yankees improve on their record, 20-17.