For the New York Yankees, the big bats were out, and the savages ravaged the Tampa Bay Rays late in the game to take game one of the 2020 five-game ALDS. What was supposed to be a pitching duel that really didn’t materialize. Yankee ace Gerrit Cole pitched adequately but did not dominate in his six innings of work. The Tampa Bay Ray’s ace Blake Snell threw a lot of pitches and only lasted five innings giving up four runs and only striking out four Yankees.
After Blake Snell left the game, Ryan Thompson and Oliver Drake pitched two scoreless innings. But in the ninth inning with the Yankees ahead in the game by one run. Keven Cash,, the Tampa manager, made an extraordinary move. He brought in John Curtiss pitch the ninth inning. Curtiss was making his major league pitching debut in the postseason. The New York Yankees spoiled his debut, big time by hammering for five runs and the Yankee 9-3 win. Gerrit Cole got the win, and Blake Snell took the loss for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The game started out with Snell throwing 10 pitches to DJ LeMahieu, who finally got a hit. LeMahieu ended up going 2 for 5 on the night. Aaron Hicks had along sac fly, driving in LeMahieu, and Snell’s no runs in the first inning streak was over. At the bottom of the frame, Cole took the mound and gave up a homer to Randy Arozarena, and the game was tied at one until the third inning. Leading off the third, Clint Frazier hit up Snell for a long ball way up in the left-field stands of Petco Park. The lead wouldn’t last as Yankee killer Ji-Man Choi homered in the bottom of the frame, and it was Tampa Bay 3 and the Yankees 2.
That Tampa Bay Rays lead wouldn’t last either as the New York Yankees knocked Blake Snell out of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Cole’s battery mate catcher Kyle Higashioka led off the with a giant homer to left field. Slugger Aaron Judge followed with a blast the also made the left-field stands, retaking the Yankee lead at 4-3. The next three innings remained scoreless for both teams.
At the top of the ninth, the New York Yankees made it a no-doubter. With Higashioka on base, Aaron Hicks singled, driving in Higgy. With the bases now loaded, Giancarlo Stanton Grand Slammed off Curtiss blowing the game open for the Yankees’ final score of 9-3. Luis Cessa came in at the bottom of the night and closed it out for the Yankees, and they took the first game of the ALDS in San Diego.
When the Yankees hit home runs, they win games, and last night they hit four long balls; Higashioka, Judge, Frazier, and Giancarlo Stanton all contributed to that home run total. Gerrit Cole went six innings striking out eight Rays; it was the first time a starter had back to back 8 strike out games in the postseason. The Bronx Bombers also, became the first team in American League history to hit a grand slam in back-to-back playoff games. Gio Urshela connected in Game 2 of the first-round sweep against Cleveland and Giancarlo Stanton did it last night.
It was a big night for the Yankees. Tonight in somewhat a surprise move Yankee manager Aaron Boone will send out rookie Deivi Garcia to pitch Game 2 of the ALDS, most would have thought Masahiro Tanaka would pitch in the second game, but Boone is going with Garcia who has earned Boone’s support. The Tampa Bay Rays saw last night that the are not playing against the same team the dominated in the regular season. Game two will be at 8:10 pm on TBS.