New York Yankees 10/2: Takeaways as the Yankees lose but reach magic #1

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

The New York Yankees were licking their wounds after a ninth-inning rally failed to save them from losing a game one 4-3 from the Tampa Bay Rays. But at the time, they had no idea that in the middle of the night, they would reduce their magic number to #1. The Seattle Mariners game didn’t start until 10 pm EDT and didn’t end until after 1 am in the east, but by the time they walked off the field, the Mariners had lost the game propelling the Yankees to that magic #1.

Last night’s Yankee/Ray contest was a typically hard-fought game on both team’s part. However, the game never got out of hand to the point that it was lopsided. The Tampa Bay Rays got on the board early, with Nelson Cruz sending one into the New York night. But Giancarlo Stanton blasted an RBI to leave the first inning tied at one apiece. The next seven innings would be scoreless for the Yankees.

After nearly three hours, the game was still close with the Rays having a one-run advantage, then came a very exciting and tense ninth inning for both teams. The Rays tacked on two runs. In the bottom of the inning, with the Yankees behind by three runs, the Yankees’ late rally garnered them two more runs, but it wasn’t enough.

Nasty Nestor still doing his job

Nestor Cortes Jr. took to the mound last night and did what he has been doing ever since the reliever was turned into a starter by necessity. He kept the Yankees in the game. After giving up a homer to Nelson Cruz in the first, he settled down and gave the Yankees almost five innings giving up just one more run while striking out five Rays.

Also, last night Domingo German returned from the IL after not pitching for two months. Boone called in German to pitch the eighth. German pitched a scoreless eighth. He went into the first out of the ninth giving up two earned runs while striking out three. Many fans were asking why Boone didn’t bring closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth.

“He’s going to be in some difficult situations,” Boone said. “We’ve got to lean on everyone down there. The walks hurt to knock him out of the game, but I thought overall he threw the ball pretty well.”

“I just felt like, matchup-wise, it was good,” Boone said. “I thought Albert did a good job of getting Arozarena out and then he puts Franco on the ground there. He just found a hole with it.”

If the Yankees come up on the wrong side of things after this series, this decision will be questioned again.

Yankee bats stymied by Tampa pitchers

The New York Yankees, maybe more than some teams, have had a great deal of difficulty hitting off good pitchers, and that’s what they faced last night. At the end of the night, the Yankees only got five hits off Rays pitching until they got to Kittredge in the ninth. But it ended up too little too late. Only Stanton and Gardner had two hits in the game. Five Yankees were hitless.

Yankee magic number is now one

This morning, the New York Yankees sit firmly in the number one berth for home-field advantage in the wild card game by one game. The Red Sox are holding on tight for that second spot after winning their game against the Nationals last night. Toronto also won last night and is one game behind the Red Sox. With the Mariners’ loss early this morning, they will have to win both of their remaining games to stay in contention.

If the Yankees win today, they will be assured of the home-field advantage even if the Red Sox win another one. Today the Yankees face the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 pm EDT. Jordan Montgomery will be on the mound for the Yankees and Shane Baz for the Rays.

Saturday’s matinee will feature the matchup of veteran Jordan Montgomery against the young Shane Baz. Montgomery is a lefty that is 6-6 with an ERA of 3.49 and 159 strikeouts. “Monty” is the Yankee poster boy for getting little run support in his games. He is coming off two wins against the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox. He has had only one bad outing this season. It was on September 10th when he gave up seven earned runs in just 3.1 innings of work. The Rays hitters have not been particularly successful of him, but he will have to watch out for Manuel Margot, who in 14 at-bats has a .357 batting average.

Twenty-two-year-old Shane Baz will be a mystery to Yankee hitters as they have not seen him pitch except on video. However, he made his major league debut on September 20th and has won both of his games against the Toronto Blue jays and the Miami Marlins. He has pitched a total of 10.2 innings. In his Toronto game, he gave up two home runs. In his Marlins start, he allowed three hits in his scoreless 5.2 innings.



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