Fine, I'll say it. That's not something you see every day. It takes a lot of moxie to attempt to steal home plate in the middle of a Major League Baseball game. Moxie isn't something Jacoby Ellsbury is short on, clearly, as his successful game-tying steal in the 5th was the cherry on top of Matt Moore's unraveling tonight in the Big Apple.
Tampa Bay started things off well in the top of the 2nd. After CC Sabathia allowed a single to Steven Souza Jr and walked Steve Pearce and Tim Beckham to load the bases, Logan Forsythe knocked a two-out double into left field to score Pearce and Souza and put the Rays out front early 2-0.
The Yankees answered quickly in the bottom of the frame. With Mark Teixeira on first, Brian McCann punished a Matt Moore fastball and lifted it over the fence in right field to tie the game 2-2.
The Rays delivered another punch in the 4th inning. With two outs, and Logan Forysthe on second base after a double, the red hot Brandon Guyer knocked a ball to left center that a diving Aaron Hicks couldn't quite get to. Forsythe scored easily to put the Rays up 3-2.
Things began to unravel for Matt Moore in the bottom of the 5th with a 3-2 lead. After allowing singles by Ellsbury and Gregorius, Brett Gardner stepped to the plate. After a strange swing and miss by Gardner, the umpire stepped out from behind the plate and motioned to call a balk. Kevin Cash came out for an explanation, and upon replay, it was clear that Moore double pumped before the pitch. This advanced Ellsbury to third and Gregorius to second. With hardly a glance towards Ellsbury at 3rd base, the lefty delivered a pitch that would walk Brett Gardner. As that pitch was being delivered, a hungry Jacoby Ellsbury was charging home for the steal. The runner was safe by an inch and it tied the game 3-3. A pretty shocking chain of events.
Moore gave up the lead for good in the bottom of the 6th. After back to back singles by Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann knocked a single down the left field line to score Beltran and put the Yankees up 4-3.
In the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees extended their lead. Dana Eveland took the hill to finish the 7th inning and returned for the 8th. After giving up a single to Teixeira and walking McCann, Eveland was replaced by Ryan Webb. With two outs and two on, Webb promptly gave up an RBI double to Jacoby Ellsbury that scored both runners and put the Yanks up 6-3. Ellsbury kindly attempted to stretch that double into a triple and was out by a mile at third base. Unfortunately, the damage had been done.
The Rays had no chance in the 8th and 9th, as Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller mowed them down in order to finish the game. 6-3 was your final in New York.
BUT WHO CARES BECAUSE TOMORROW IS BLAKE SNELL DAYYYYYYYYYY!!! The kid's first weekend ever in New York will be spent pitching in Yankee Stadium against former pro wrestling legend, Tatanka!
Notes & Hat Tips:
- In true Rays hat tip fashion, CC Sabathia achieved a few minor milestones in tonight's game. He became the 133rd pitcher to reach 3,000 career innings. He is the first to reach that milestone since Tim Hudson in 2014
- CC's strikeout of Steven Souza was the 2,583rd of his career, tying Warren Spahn at 25th all time.
- The Rays won a review in the 3rd. Steve Pearce hit a tapper to third base that Chase Headley barehanded and thew to first. The hustling Pearce was ruled safe, and after a brief review, the call was upheld.
- Logan Morrison struck out in his lone appearance today, this one being of the pinch hit variety (!), bringing his batting average down to a raunchy .049. One can only assume he will soon be team MVP and Comeback Player of the Year.
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