The 2022 Yankees have seemed like a nearly unbeatable team, but recently they’ve started to slow things down, without Aaron Judge hitting ten million home runs, and a bit of a losing slump. With the Rays in enemy territory, and every divisional game counting twice as much, they were hungry for as many wins as they could get.
Jeffrey Springs was kicking it off for the Rays, and Nestor Cortes was up for the Yankees. Springs was given an early cushion to work with as the Rays opted to score early. Diaz hit a leadoff single, and Paredes singled to follow. Arozarena hit a one-out home run, and brought three runs in, a nice lead in the first. In the bottom of the inning with some breathing room, had a nice 1-2-3 inning.
Cortes balanced out a bit in the second with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, and in the bottom of the inning Springs allowed only a single to Benintendi, but no runs scored.
It was a three-up-three-down third for both sides.
In the top of the fourth, Bethancourt reached first safely on an error from Donaldson, and then because he’s the luckiest man alive, he stole second and was able to get all the wait to third on an error from Trevino. Too bad he didn’t score. Springs had another 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Rays went down in order to start the fifth, and in the bottom half things got a bit shaky for Springs. Benintendi got a one-out triple, and also auditioned to be the next baseball player featured by Head and Shoulders when he lost his helmet and had the most perfectly coifed hair I’ve ever seen in my life. How did he do that? Shellac? Is it a perfect wig? What on earth? Anyway, Andujar was safe on first after an error from Diaz that also allowed Benintendi to score. It was just kind of an ugly bobble of the infield grass. Kiner-Falefa drew a walk, but a double play ended the threat and the Yankees would have to settle for one. That was it for Springs, whose final line for the night was 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K on 78 pitches. Pretty solid appearance for Springs.
The Rays got a baserunner in Ramirez in the top of the sixth, but he was caught stealing to end the inning. Fairbanks came on in the bottom of the sixth and got through three batters in a row without any issues.
Pete Fairbanks. pic.twitter.com/5pK7c7RKe1— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 17, 2022
Onward to the seventh, and the Rays didn’t even get a whisper of the basepaths. In the bottom half Raley was next out of the bullpen. Donaldson singled to start things off, then a Trevino groundout got Donaldson to second. Benintendi then flied out to get Donaldson to third and that was it for Raley as Cash turned to Armstrong who got the final out of the inning.
Yawn, three-up-three-down in the top of the eighth.
So.— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) August 17, 2022
Here’s a video of @josesiri22 pretending to eat Harold’s hair because he says it looks like blue cotton candy.
I have no further explanation.
Other than sometimes I think we forget that these guys are just big kids playing the game they love and I love it. pic.twitter.com/tPy87nE25t
Armstrong got two outs in the eighth before giving up a single to Torres. He then gave way to Adam to face Judge. A groundout ended things safely. Phew.
Top of the ninth and man, another run would be fun, because this game has been boooooring. That was asking too much. Not even a baserunner. Those first inning runs are proving to be extra-helpful now. Bottom of the ninth and the Yankees went down in order securing the win.
Final: Rays 3, Yankees 1