The New York Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night thanks to an Anthony Rizzo walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th inning. The game was rather quiet throughout, as both teams featured bullpen arms to supplement the loss of starting pitchers. Prior to the beginning of the game, the Yankees lost Luis Severino to the Covid list, and Tampa Bay scratched starter Drew Rasmussen.
The Bombers featured Clarke Schmidt as their starter for the game, and Tampa hosted Jalen Beeks, who lasted 2.0 innings, striking out one batter and not allowing a hit. Altogether, both bullpens performed admirably with the loss of their respective starters, but the Yankees still managed to gain an edge given their clutch hitting.
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Good news and bad news as Yankees complete sweep of Tampa:
Schmidt enjoyed a solid performance in his first start of the season, lasting 3.0 innings and giving up just one hit, striking out five batters. The rest of the bullpen performed admirably, with Triple-A arm Ryan Weber being called up on Thursday and pitching 3.2 innings, giving up just two hits and one run.
Luckily, the Yankees answered right back in the bottom of the 6th inning after Anthony Rizzo singled to centerfield, driving in DJ LeMahieu. However, Rizzo’s big moment came in the bottom of the 9th inning when he launched a homer to right-centerfield, traveling 392 feet. Rizzo currently has a .223 average with a 32.1% on base rate and a .485 slugging percentage.
THE YANKEEEES WIN!!!
— Fireside Yankees (@FiresideYankees) June 17, 2022
Clearly, the decision to extend Rizzo is turning out to be a great one from general manager Brian Cashman. In addition, relief arms Ron Marinaccio and Michael King combined for 2.1 innings of action, striking out three batters and allowing a hit.
Most of the Yankees’ batters were quiet on the evening, with Joey Gallo and Josh Donaldson picking up two strikeouts apiece. The big question is regarding Severino and his health. The veteran starter was testing negative for Covid before the start of the game but had been feeling symptoms of a virus. He will need a few days of rest but should be cleared of any Covid-related threats.
The Yankees will travel to Toronto on Friday to start a three-game series. Jordan Montgomery will feature on the mound with Ross Stripling on the other end, hosting a 3.14 ERA over 43 innings of action the season.