New York Yankees Postseason Recap: Yankees lose 8-4 and now face elimination

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

Last night the New York Yankees played reminiscent of the regular season when the Yankees only won 2 of 10 teams. Now they have lost two games in a row of the five-game ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. Masahiro Tanaka couldn’t locate his pitches, and the Rays made him pay. Last night the Yankees looked like a team uninspired and unable to hit Tampa Bay Ray’s pitching.

What is not understandable is how a team that hit 38 hits and 11 home runs in the first three games of the postseason could go entirely flat in the last two games with the ALDS on the line.  The Yankees only have 12 hits in the last two games with three home runs, all by Giancarlo Stanton, who seems to be trying to carry the team on his back, as slugger Aaron Judge, batting champion DJ LeMahieu and MLB home run leader Luke Voit, just aren’t contributing.

Another question in last night’s game is why with the game on the line in the postseason, manager Aaron Judge would let starter Masahiro Tanaka get five earned runs before being taken out when on the previous night, the took out Deivi Garcia after giving up just one run. The Tampa Bay Rays are playing so well, and the Yankee bullpen can’t hold them down. Nothing the Yankees tried worked against the Rays, who look like they are on a mission.

One huge problem for the New York Yankees is in the name of Randy Arozarena who has hurt the Yankees big time in the last two games. He went 2 for 4 two nights ago and 3 for 4 last night. He has acted as a catalyst for the team. For the Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton has done the same thing but the rest of the team has not followed his lead.

At the top of the first inning last night, Masahiro Tanaka started by striking out the first batter he faced. He struck out the next, then gave up a long ball to Choi that amazingly was caught by a sun blinded Aaron Judge at the top of the wall in right field. Tampa Bay Ray’s Charlie Morton put down DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, and Luke Voit in the bottom of the frame, setting the tone for the entire night.

At the top of the second, the Rays got a sac fly that drove in a run. At the bottom of the third inning, the Yankees got back in the game, evening it up at one, when Aaron Judge had a sac fly driving in Brett Gardner. But in the same inning, the Yankees missed their biggest opportunity of the game, leaving the bases loaded with Yankees.

At the top of the fourth inning, with two on the Ray’s, Kevin Kiermaier hit a three-run homer off Tanaka over the reach of Aaron Judge. It was obvious that Tanaka was not locating his pitches, but manager Boone left him in. At the top of the fifth inning, Tanaka faced Randy Arozarena, who promptly hit a homer off Tanaka into the left-field stands. Arozarena had already gotten two hits off Tanaka before the home run. Had Boone not let Tanaka face Arozarena, the game might not have gotten out of reach.

In the sixth inning, Boone replaced Tanaka with Chad Green; Green had one of his worst nights on the mound of the year, giving up three Rays runs. Luis Cessa came in and gave up another run.  In the last three innings, Nick Nelson and Michael King pitched allowing only one hit between them, but it was too late; the damage had already been done in the Yankee’s 8-4 loss. Tanaka took the loss and Charlie Morton the win.

Giancarlo Stanton hit another home run last night, his sixth long ball in the postseason. He has driven in 13 of the Yankees runs and is hitting .368. In the last two Yankees losses, he has driving in six of the Yankees nine runs.

Tonight is do or die for the New York Yankees in the elimination game. The Yankees Jordan Montgomery will have to hold down the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Yankee lineup must perform as it had earlier in the postseason.  With a lineup as talented and powerful as the Yankees lineup is, winning the next two games is certainly something they can do if they go out there and show the team they are. But they have to get the win tonight to give Yankee ace Gerrit Cole a chance to win it for them in the fifth game on Friday night.