(Ed note: We apologize for the late recap. DRB staff were all in varying stages of grief and unable to write until this morning.)
There were heightened emotions and a sense of urgency coming into last night’s game against the New York Yankees. The Rays had just bounced back from being swept by the Texas Rangers by taking a much needed series win against the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays also were buyers at the deadline, acquiring an under the radar pickup in Dan Jennings from the White Sox, and power slugger in Lucas Duda from the Mets.
The emotional highs and lows from the past week would continue in last nights game.
Archer’s Rough Beginning
Chris Archer had another solid performance, going 6 innings, with only 3 ER, 2 BB and 10 Ks, but it didn’t look promising at the start of the game. Archer worked through a good first, but then gave up a single to Chase Headley, double to Jacoby Ellsbury to score one run, and another single to Todd Frazier to score the second run. 2-0 Yankees. It looked to be another threat after Archer walked Gardner with 2 outs and new Yankee phenom Clint Fraizer coming up to the plate, but Archer struck him out with three straight sliders.
After the Rays went down quickly in the top of the 3rd inning, the Yankees added on again on a solo HR by Gary Sanchez. 3-0 Yankees, and there was this sinking feeling that the Rays had already lost this game.
A New Hope
But this is a different Rays’ team! We were buyers instead of sellers at the deadline! We were in playoff contention!
And sure enough, the Rays started to battle back. Evan Longoria continued his dominance against CC Sabathia and the Yankees by launching a solo shot to center field to get the Rays on the board.
Longo’s homer was followed by a quick 1-2-3 by Archer in the bottom of the 4th, and the momentum was swinging in the Rays favor.
Rays added one to their score with two back to back doubles by Adeiny Hecavarria and Peter Bourjos, and chased Sabathia out of the game after Souza drew a walk. Joe Girardi opted to bring in Chad Green out of the bullpen, and Kevin Cash responded by replacing Trevor Plouffe with Brad Miller.
Green had been dominant this year, never allowing a hit to the first batter faced and never letting an inherited run score. But Miller immediately laced a double into right field and plated two runs. 4-3 Rays. We made a come back!
A Dickerson homer made it 5-3 Rays and after Archer got out of a bases-loaded 1 out jam with back to back strikeouts in the bottom of the 6th, the Rays were looking good.
Empire Strikes Back
We got our first Dan Jennings sighting in the 7th, but he didn’t make a good first impression with his new team, giving up singles (albeit not well struck) to Didi Gregorius and Chase Headly and having runners on the corners with nobody out. Holiday grounded into a forceout, but Headley scored from third, putting the Yankees within 1 of the rays. Boxberger did have a great finish by inducing a inning ending double play to end any further threat.
Alex Colome came into close, and immediately gave up a lead-off triple to Brett Gardner. However, Colome dug deep and kept the runner at third by getting a soft grounder out of Clint Fraizer for one out, and a flyout of Aaron Judge for the second, assisted by Souza Jr. with a great throw back in to keep Gardner at bay.
Hope had returned, and the Rays had only one more out to get. Gary Sanchez came to the plate and Colome got him to ground out to the left side between Hechavarria and Beckham. Easy out, right? Wrong. A defensive miscommunication between the pair caused the ball to trickle to left field and score Gardner. Tie game.
At this point, the emotions had swung dramatically in both directions, but this time it was going to stay the the dread zone.
You know the rest. Rays bats stayed quiet in the 10th and 11th, thanks to Arnoldis Chapman. Cash kept Andrew Kittredge out after a solid 10th, and he immediately gave up a walk off homer to none other than Brett Gardner. Yankees win 6-5.
Rays look to bounce back tonight against Masahiro Tanaka, who is having a rough year. Austin Pruitt gets the call in place of Jake Odorizzi, and will get the start.