New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from 3-1 win over the Rays

New York Yankees, NYY, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
Oct 9, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates with designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of game five of the 2020 ALDS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the New York Yankees started a three-game series with their nemesis Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees have had significant problems beating the Rays during the last few years. Going into last night’s game, they had won only one of the six games this season. They came away last night with the 3-1 win.

Jordan Mongomery brilliant in Tampa

Jordan Montgomery is becoming more important to the Yankees with every start he has. After his win last night his is now 2-1 with an ERA of 3.96. But the New York Yankees have won 5 of his 7 starts. in order to win the Tampa Bay Rays series, winning game one last night was crucial because Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will start Thursday’s game.

In the first inning at Tropicana Field, Yankee killer Randy Arozarena faced Montgomery and flew out. Manuel Margot lined out to short, and Austin Meadows struck out for a 1-2-3 inning, one of several. The Meadows strikeout was just the beginning as Montgomery built up a career-high 9 strikeouts in the game.

To show his building professionalism as the game progressed, Jordan realized that his signature curve wasn’t on, so he switched to his changeup that was excellent; he got 5 of his 9 strikeouts on that pitch. Montgomery went 6 full innings with 85 pitches. It was a surprise when manager Boone did not bring him out in the seventh inning. Jonathan Loaisiga, one of the Yankee’s most dependable relievers, came in and pitched two scoreless innings. Aroldis Chapman got his 8th save of the season and still has not allowed a single run this season over 14 games.

Yankees still not hitting

The New York Yankees have been having a hitting problem all season, with many games only achieving 2 to 5 hits. Last night was a bit better, getting 7 hits, but they still only produced 3 runs in the game. Most often than not, if you score only 3 runs in a game, you most likely will not win the game. The biggest problem facing the Yankees is that they have 8 players, including on the bench, that are hitting at .200 or less.

Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, and Gary Sanchez just aren’t hitting, and if they do, it’s not consistent. Sanchez did hit his fourth home run of the season last night but has only 11 hits on the season, and only 1 extra-base hit. Aaron Hicks is also deficient in his hitting, and Clint Frazier is just plain miserable at the plate. His batting average is just .149, the worst average on the team. He also only has 6 RBI’s on the season.

Aaron Judge started the game by hitting his 8th home run of the season. Two of the three runs scored were via the home run. Luke Voit returned to the team for his first game of the season since having knee surgery. He went hitless on the night.

Yankees hit with “Breakthrough” Covid cases

Before starting last night’s Yankee game in Tampa, the New York Yankees announced that third base coach Phil Nevin had tested positive for the Covid 19 virus. What makes this unusual is that he was fully vaccinated in spring training with the J&J vaccine. When a person had been fully vaccinated but gets the virus anyway, these cases are called “Breakthrough” cases.

We have since learned that first base coach Reggie Willits and another unnamed staff member have also tested positive for the virus. All three of the staff have been quarantined. Baseball development coordinator Mario Garza will coach first base, and bench coach Carlos Mendoza will coach at third base in place of Nevin. The CDC said it expected there “will be a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.”

After the game last night, manager Aaron Boone said he expected the series to be played but was not aware of what other steps would be taken or if daily Covid tests would be required.

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