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TB 3, NY 6: Rays notch A-Loss

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The Rays, being the incredibly gracious team that they are, allow both a hit and win for A-Rod's last game.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

It was an end of an era for an all time great shortstop and third-baseman, and hopefully the beginning of a new one for the Rays.

Duffman and A-Rod

Matt Duffy's first Rays at-bat ended with a fairly routine 5-4-3 doubleplay. However, the 1st inning would be salvaged by a long fly from Longo, for his 26th HR on the season.

In the bottom half, Alex Rodriguez would come up with Gardner at first (after a HBP). A-Rod was able to work the count and take a fastball the other way against the shift for an opposite field double to the wall, scoring Gardner from 1st.

Archer would limit his 1st inning troubles after that,  striking out both Teixeira and McCann. Archer made McCann look particularly silly in the process, getting a swinging K where McCann started to swing seemingly around the same time the ball hit Bobby Wilson's glove.

Duffy's would not wait much longer to get his first Rays hit however. In the top of the 3rd, Duffman hit a looping ball that didn't travel very far, but fell in the right spot. It even caught enough air-time to give Bobby Wilson a chance to chug his way to 3rd. Longoria would keep Bobby on the move, hitting a single the other way for the RBI.

But we know Duffy is a good contact hitter. The real question was: can he field at shortstop? A-Rod would use his next at-bat to get Duffy his first chance at SS for the Rays, grounding out fairly routinely right at Duffy.

Duffy would get his first real chance to showoff his glovework on a tricky short grounder from Brett Gardner. Duffy was able to charge the ball, make the scoop and exchange to throw out the speedy Gardner. Not an easy play, but Duffman made it look slick.

A-rod's last two at-bats would go a bit more 2016 A-Rod and not so much Mariners or Rangers era A-Rod. Archer would get a bit of revenge for that 1st inning, striking out Rodriguez on three straight pitches, capped by a brutally unfair slider off the plate.

The end of A-Rod's night at the plate was just as abrupt and banal as the week long retirement tour. In his last at-bat as a major league baseball player, A-Rod would groundout on the first pitch right to Duffy at short.

The Rest of the Rays

Evan Longoria had another real good game, going 2-3, with a HR, 2 RBIs, and a BB. It's not shocking anymore, but it is worth noting. Especially on this night, taking Longo for granted, both the player and the person, would be a mistake.

Also worth noting was Corey Dickerson's tremendous first at-bat against CC Sabathia. Dickerson has had his share of troubles against lefties, but in the 2nd inning he was able to work a great 10 pitch at-bat, before grounding out sharply to 2nd. He didn't get on base, but it was a very encouraging at-bat for Dickerson.

Tim Beckham also continued to make his case to be apart of the 2017 Rays. After the Yanks took a 3-2 lead, T-Bex got the the 5th inning started by lacing a double down the line in left. The Rays would then do something that baseball teams have done for decades, but seem to be so incredibly difficult for the Rays to accomplish: sacrifice and a sac-fly. Bobby Wilson would drop a nice bunt to get Beckham to 3rd, and Logan Forsythe would get Beckham the rest of the way, serving a fly ball deep enough.

Archer's Night

Chris Archer's final line was: 6 innings, 7 hits, 5 ER. However, that line does not tell the whole story. For the better part of tonight, Archer was cruising through the Yankees order. Archer got 7 of his 9 Ks swinging.

This was a game that seemed to be a dominant performance from Archer, that had  but each time the Yanks made contact it just found a gap, found just enough daylight to escape a glove and just enough hangtime to reach the seats.

Not to make excuses for Chris Archer's loss tonight, but I do find quite a bit more silver lining in this start than just the grey storm clouds of the line.

In the 9th

Rays would not reach base in the 9th, which isn't exactly news against Dellin Betances. However, there would be something worth watching to the end of this one: one last glimpse of one of the very best and hugely polarizing figures in baseball history.

A-Rod would get to see the field one last time in the 9th. Girardi would make the switch to get A-Rod onto the field for 1 out (a Betances K of Mahtook).

He would be subbed out before the next hitter, and just like that Alex Rodriguez's career was over.