Before we get into the whys and wherefores of this particular loss, let’s take a moment to discuss THIS nonsense. (And forgive me, Danny, for using your tweet, but it had the video!)
#Yankees with the intentional HBP then chirping at the #Rays — Yanks down on hard times, looking for a spark? Both teams have injuries, Cole having a bad night doesn’t make you special.— Danny Russell (@d_russ) September 1, 2020
Sucks to suck, I guess... pic.twitter.com/OrqF1ONzMY
What on earth is this? For starters, is there a less explosive, less aggressive player than Joey Wendle they could have selected for this? I could almost picture them taking out their frustrations on a Willy Adames or a Ji-Man Choi, the types of players who dance for base hits or celebrate a home run. But Joey Wendle? Seriously?
Not to mention, what is this particular hit for? Is it because the Yankees haven’t had much success beating the Rays this season? Are they still mad for that situation with CC Sabathia a million years ago? I just can’t wrap my head around this.
Anyway, on to the game, which wasn’t particular positive in the end, but had some shining moments.
For one, I thought Trevor Richards looked good! I’m sure people can argue until the cows come home to disagree with me, but with the exception of two unlucky hits — both of them home runs to D.J. LeMahieu, he looked pretty solid through 4 2⁄3 innings. He finished the day with 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR and a tidy 64 pitches.
Likewise, the home runs from Willy Adames (in the seventh) and Kevin Kiermaier (in the fifth) were a nice touch (the latter of which also scored Adames, giving Willy a nice two run evening). Alas it wasn’t enough to counter the production of the Yankees, who managed to take home the win behind a decent enough start from Masahiro Tanaka (who went 6 innings giving up two runs on three hits and striking out seven).
Both of the home runs from LeMahieu came in early in the game, one in the first inning and the next in the third. Where the Yankees really did their damage was in the sixth inning with a messy error that likely cost the club the game, as Frazier, Urshela, and Voit all scored.
It’s ugly to watch, you’ve been warned.
Gio Urshela (@Urshela10) hits a 2-RBI Triple (1) past a diving Kiermaier and then pulls off an amazing slide at home on an error put the @Yankees up 5-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 6th.— Ethan Semendinger (@EthanSem) September 2, 2020
Distance: 285 ft
Exit Velo: 96 mph
Out at Home: Not a chance! pic.twitter.com/pcbjMKdjkg
The three runs in the sixth all hit Ryan Thompson’s scorecard, unfortunately. As for familiar relievers, Zach Britton — who has previously been beaten up a bit by the Rays — managed to figure himself out against them and had a scoreless inning.
In the top of the ninth with two outs — and I remind you, no reasonable grudge — the world’s least-liked reliever Aroldis Chapman threw a 100+ mph pitch behind Michael Brosseau which led to a heated discussion between Kevin Cash and one of the umpires, for lack of any real response from the crew.
But seriously, Yankees, if you’re so mad about losing to the Rays this much, maybe play better instead of trying to behead players.
The game ended with a 5-3 score, but immediately afterwards the benches cleared and bullpens emptied, and there was a fair bit of shared shouting between the teams, that didn’t come to blows and was settled by the umpires.
Tomorrow night is going to be interesting.