New York Yankees: Good news and bad news following embarrassing loss to Rays

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

After splitting a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies this week, the New York Yankees traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays. With a strong pitching unit, the Yankees undoubtedly had a tough challenge ahead of them. After Tampa’s top pitcher, Blake Snell stated that beating the Yankees is a bit more enjoyable than other teams, they backed up their confidence and swagger in game one of the series.

Snell pitched 3.0 innings, not allowing a hit and striking out five batters. The Rays’ bullpen dominated the Yankees’ batting order all night, allowing just two hits and striking out nine batters. Aside from DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman recording the only hits, slugger’s Aaron Judge and Luke Voit struck out a collective five times.

Losing 1-0 was a tough result for the Bombers, who have been smashing home runs at an astronomical rate.

Let’s take a look at the good and bad news following the loss for the New York Yankees:

GOOD NEWS:

There wasn’t much good news offensively for the Bombers, but pitcher Masahiro Tanaka returned for just his second outing this year, eclipsing Tampa Bay at every turn. Allowing just one hit through five innings, Tanaka threw just 59 pitches and recorded five strikeouts. If it wasn’t for an Adam Ottavino eighth inning, Tanaka’s performance would’ve been even more prevalent.

Tanaka currently hosts a 1.17 ERA, but another Yankee also had a fantastic outing on the mound. Luis. Cessa, who was recently activated after a bout with COVID-19, pitched two innings and recorded two strikeouts. This is a very positive sign for a team that has had some issues with their relief arms. Adding Cessa to the rotation will certainly help them get through the middle innings in the future.

BAD NEWS:

The bad news was purely offensive, with the Yankees striking out nine total times and watching some of their best hitters go down with ease. It seemed as if the entire team was off Friday night, and having traveled the past few weeks consistently, fatigue could be setting in early on in the 2020 season.

This was a primary concern with such a condensed schedule, and utilizing a taxi squad will likely be a more prioritized factor for a manager Aaron Boone. While he did sit Aaron Judge and DJ LeMahieu in the final game against the Phillies, breaking their rhythm might have been a negative move.

Nonetheless, the Yankees are a much better team than the Rays currently and will endure a doubleheader on Saturday. Luckily, they have Gerrit Cole taking the mound in the first game at 2:10 PM.