I had a great intro written about the anniversary of the Opener and how funny it is that the Yankees are using one today, but I deleted the whole thing in the sixth because a game like this one doesn’t deserve great intros. This game deserves sad trombones and extra strong toilet paper. If you missed it, be thankful.
It wasn’t terrible the whole way, but don’t let these first several paragraphs fool you. It was BAD.
Green struggled through a scoreless first. Leadoff man Austin Meadows worked a walk, but was quickly caught stealing on a strong throw from Sanchez. Tommy Pham did not let that sour his approach, and promptly lined a double to right on the next pitch. Choi followed, and squared up a 2-1 slider, but the result was a line out to center. Diaz struck out swinging to end the threat.
Uncle Charlie Morton took the hill for the Rays and struggled to command his pitches. The Yankees drew first blood on a walk and two singles.
Green was on his way to much quicker second when Kevin Kiermaier hooked a 1-0 slider around the right field foul pole.
The Outlaw ties things up with a solo shot in the second inning!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 19, 2019
Catch all of today's action live on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go!#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/gVjQJmJEum
Willy Adames followed by
popping out to right homering off the top of the right field wall.
And The Kid follows KK with a solo blast of his own!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 19, 2019
The @RaysBaseball are on top of the Yankees in the second inning, and you can see all of the action live now on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go!#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/JnL6kBLbDh
Daniel Robertson was then drilled on a fastball that ran up and in that glanced off his helmet.
Scary moment in NY, as @RaysBaseball infielder Daniel Robertson gets clipped in the head by Chad Green.#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/94b7OmOsw6— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 19, 2019
That was it for Chad Green. Lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. came on, and struck out Austin Meadows after a long at bat.
Morton still struggled to locate (this will be a recurring theme), starting the second by walking Urshela and giving up a homer to right by Brett Gardner. 3-2 Yankees. He finished the second with his pitch count over 50 pitches.
Pham drew a walk to start the top of the third. After Choi hit into a force out, Yandy Diaz lined an inside fastball into the left for a double. That brought Brandon Lowe to the plate with a chance to do some damage. BLowe got a hanger, and he didn’t miss it. His towering drive landed beyond the bullpen in right center.
.@Sweet_n_Lowe5, power-hitting right fielder. #RaysUp pic.twitter.com/VA2p1Lopw2— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2019
Morton was on his way to maybe getting his pitch count on track when Gleyber Torres worked a walk off a long at bat. Urshela followed, and fouled off some tough pitches. Unfortunately, one of them was fouled off a very tender region.
Gio Urshela stays in the game like a BOSS! pic.twitter.com/VcaVq6aQsF— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 19, 2019
The poor unfortunate soul then struck on a no balls two strike curve to end the inning.
With two out in the Yankee fourth, a chopper to third ate up Yandy Diaz, putting LeMahieu on first. Aaron Hicks followed with his first homer of the year, and it was all tied at five.
What, you thought that was the bad part? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, it got much worse.
Diego Castillo took over the fifth. Morton’s final line: 4 innings, 5 runs (3 earned), 4 hits, 4(!) walks and six strikeouts.
Castillo gave up a pop fly toward the rightfield corner to Sanchez that Lowe wasn’t able to track down. It caromed off the wall and ended in Sanchez’s first triple of his career.
Three sharply hit balls followed, the first two with the infield in. None of the three made it through. Robertson snagged a Morales liner, Adames made a diving stop of a Torres grounder, and Diaz flagged down an Ursela grounder.
#RaysUp pic.twitter.com/IBxTrLyVjq— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2019
The game remained tied.
Meanwhile, Cortes was plowing through the Rays lineup, sitting down nine in a row before a d’Arnaud one-out walk in the sixth. A KK flyout and a lined single by Adames ended Cortes’s day. The lefty recovered from the Lowe homer to turn in a decent outing. Ottavino came on to face Robertson, and had trouble zeroing in on the zone. DRob walked to load the bases, but Meadows couldn’t capitalize, striking out swinging on seven pitches.
Then came the bottom of the sixth. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to scroll past the next several paragraphs.
It started innocently enough when Gardner singled (literally) off Castillo. A steal and a walk followed. The red hot DJ LeMahieu followed by ... uh, bunting? And he popped up the bunt to Choi? Okay, we’ll take that. Could you do that two more times please? Because it’s the only way we’re gonna get anybody out.
Castillo looked the gift horse in the mouth, walking Hicks and Voit to force in a run. 6-5 Yankees, and the end of Castillo’s day. 1.1 innings, 2 hits and 3(!!) walks. Enter Ryne Stanek.
The 1-1 pitch got away from d’Arnaud, but not far enough, and Clint Frazier was put out at the plate, a sneaky attempt to deke Stanek notwithstanding. The Rays then put Sanchez on intentionally (that trick never works!) to reload the bases. Stanek then got ahead of Morales 0-2 ... and then walked him on six pitches. 7-5 Yankees. Choi chipped in by dropping a foul pop near the screen, and then mishandling Willy Adames one-hop throw off the Torres grounder. 8-5 Yankees and I hate baseball.
Because it’s not over yet. Casey Sadler came on and gave up a double to Estrada. 11-5 Yankees and I don’t even know what I’m watching. Next, Sadler fell behind 3-1, then grooved one that ended up a double to right, scoring ... who the hell knows. 12-5? Is that a seven run inning? Really? It feels like more. Because remember, the only outs we’ve gotten this inning came on a failed sac bunt and wild pitch play at the plate.
Finally, Sadler ended the — wait this is only the sixth? Charlie Crist on toast, this is awful way to spend a Sunday. Okay, I think it was a strike out of Frazier? Maybe? I don’t know. My brain is bleeding.
In the top of the seventh, Diaz got hit in the hand with a pitch and was removed. Because THIS GAME(!!!).
In the bottom of the seventh, I went to take a leak and missed a DJ LeMahieu dinger. I assume it was a hanger. I don’t know. Sweet merciful Jesus, there are still two more innings left to recap.
The Rays made some more outs in eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Torres singled and moved up the throw when it got away from Adames.
Here you go. pic.twitter.com/VL3svTJoBG— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2019
Somehow, he didn’t score.
DRob prolonged the agony by singling to lead off the ninth, followed by a Meadows walk. Seriously dudes, let it go. Order was restored when Tommy Pham’s infield single turned into a force at third thanks to a nifty play in the hole from Torres. A strikeout from Choi and a flyout from Velazquez ended it.
Tampa Bay travels to the left coast (of Florida) to start a rare set against the Dodgers on Tuesday.