Well, things started off nicely.
The Rays jumped out to an early lead after Ben Zobrist singled (his 1,000th career hit), Evan Longoria walked, and Wil Myers doubled down the leftfield line. Singles by Yunel Escobar and Logan Forsythe followed, increasing the lead to 3-0 and chasing Yankee starter Chris Capuano from the game. A sac fly by Ryan Hanigan pushed another run across. Unfortunately that lead would be squandered rather quickly.
They had other scoring opportunities, putting men on second base in the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh innings, but failing to knock in any of them. After starting out 3-4 with men in scoring position they went zero for their next seven and wouldn't score again until a solo homer from Longoria in the ninth. An extra run or two may have made the difference, but it's hard to say based on the way Jake Odorizzi and parts of the bullpen pitched.
Odorizzi was coming off back to back stellar starts but ran into problems early and often tonight. A terribly located changeup got blasted into upper deck by Brian McCann in the first inning. Three walks, two singles and an error got him in trouble in the third inning, allowing two runs to score. Odorizzi hung another pitch, this time to Chris Young in the fourth inning, and he took it over the fence in left. A hit batter and a triple in the fifth would end his night.
Every hit off Odorizzi that drove in a run was against his changeup. The pitch is super effective when it's kept down in the zone. Tonight, it was left up too many times and this is what can happen.
The Yankees bullpen was phenomenal, allowing just the one run over 8.2 innings. It's been great all season, sporting the highest WAR and K/9 of any unit in baseball.
Tomorrow, Alex Cobb squares off against Michael Pineda. Over the past 30 days Cobb's 0.85 ERA ranks second in baseball.