The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays feeling fully confident that they would sweep the Rays with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees. Unfortunately, that is not close to what happened; instead, the Rays shut out the Yankees 14-0. Another case this season as the Yankees take two steps forward and one step back. Nevertheless, the Yankees did take the series.
Gerrit Cole loses the game before recording an out
It would be an understatement to say that Yankee ace Gerrit Cole didn’t have it as he stepped to the mound in the first inning of last night’s game. Cole gave up four runs without recording an out. With the Yankees not hitting, the death knell led to a 14 run shut out from the Rays. Once that was over, Cole settled in and put down 8 in a row at one point. With his secondary pitches not working, he had to revert to solely throwing his fastball.
In his time with the Yankees, Cole has never given up 8 runs in a game, making this his worst outing in years. It is the first time since 1912 that a pitcher has given up eight runs in a game while recording 10 strikeouts. It is also the first time the Yankees have given up 14 runs in a game since last year against the Toronto Blue Jays at Buffalo.
This loss has to be a concern for the Yankees; it’s Cole’s second loss in a row when he couldn’t complete six innings. His last loss was a critical one against the Boston Red Sox. This trend can’t be acceptable to the Yankees; as the season progresses, he is trending down, not up. After April, Cole’s ERA was 1.43; now, it has risen to 3.11, which is still good but not what you want to see from your ace.
Yankees’ lack of hitting continues
The Yankees’ lack of hitting all season continues to dog them in most games. Last night was no different. The Yankees could only muster up 4 hits in the game. With three runners in scoring position, no home runs, they couldn’t bring a run home. Most concerning last night was Giancarlo Stanton, who stuck out three times with one walk. Stanton, who was a legitimate spark before the All-Star break, has not hit the ball since then. He had 16 home runs then, and that is where it sits. Both Judge and Stanton should be the power bats in the lineup, but Stanton is missing in action.
By taking this series, the Yankees now have a winning record at Tropicana Field for the first time since 2015. The Yankees are now 7 and 9 against the Rays this season, with the last 3 games between the teams to be played at Yankee Stadium to end the season in September.
Yankees give up 10 in the sixth
After giving up four runs in the early part of the first inning, Gerrit Cole pitched well into the sixth inning, striking out 10 Rays. But everything went south in the sixth inning, putting the Yankees in an unrecoverable 14 run hole. In the sixth, Cole gave up another two runs before being removed from the game, leaving two on base that was his responsibility. With the bullpen, overused Boone sent Michael Abreu to replace Cole. However, the Rays had their way with Abreu, who gave up another eight runs including the two base runners Cole left.
Sal Romano did his job; between the seventh and eighth, he allowed two hits but kept the Rays scoreless. On a good note, the Yankees sent out their newest pitcher Clay Holmes in his Yankee debut. He pitched a hitless ninth inning for the Yankees.
Hal means business
New York Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner said recently that he doesn’t see the Yankees as sellers at the trade deadline. It seems he was true to his word. The Yankees acquired Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers and last night announced that they had acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. With $4 million left without going over the luxury tax threshold and a 4 o’clock deadline today, he may still improve the team.
New this season, after the deadline today, there will be no waiver deals made. At the end of today, the team will be what they will go with the rest of the season. With the additions of Gallo and Rizzo, it seems Cashman is addressing the lack of left-hand hitters in the lineup. If there is another deal coming before that deadline, it will most likely be in the pitching department.