The New York Yankees started out game one of a doubleheader with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, looking for his fourth win in a row to start the season. That did not happen. Yankee fans watched a Cole that again didn’t seem to have his best stuff. At times he struggled and looked frustrated. The first inning set the pace as it took him 19 pitches to get through the inning. He ended up throwing a season-high 107 pitches in just 4.2 innings. Through the fourth, he was scoreless with 10 strikeouts, while making the pitches he had to, to keep the Rays from crossing home plate.
On his 107th pitch, appearing tired, he gave up a three-run homer to Jose Martinez. Chad Green came in to close the inning but allowed an additional run. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning, and Adam Ottavino came in in the seventh to close out the Yankees 8-4 Saturday afternoon game.
On the offensive side, Gary Sanchez continues to struggle behind the plate. In the first inning, he game to the plate with the bases loaded with Yankees and two outs. What is becoming all too common with Sanchez, he struck out leaving the bases loaded, and a huge opportunity to get the early lead.
At the top of the third inning, Mike Ford stepped to the plate and blasted a 430′ two-run homer into the stands at Tropicana Field. The long ball did not fail the New York Yankees in this game as Giancarlo Stanton homered, as did Aaron Judge. for his eighth home run of the season. In the seventh and final inning, Gio Urshela drove in the final run with a sac fly.
The final score was Yankees 8 and the Rays 4. Chad Green got the win and Tyler Glasnow took the loss. Cole for his part was denied his fourth win in a row, as he fell short 1/3 of an inning to get the win.
Game two: The Yankees took the loss in game two 5-3. Michael King got the start in the game. He loaded the bases in the first but got out of the inning only allowing one run to score. He allowed two additional runs in the fourth inning. Albert Abreu in his major league debut gave up the other two runs in the game. King took the loss in the game.
The New York Yankees had eight hits in the game but failed to get them across the home plate when they had the chance. The bad news in the game other than the loss is an equally bad loss, the loss of Giancarlo Stanton with a probable hamstring injury. Stanton walked in the fourth and was eventually driven in by Luke Voit. Stanton crossed home plate gingerly.
Stanton was sent for an MRI, but will likely end up on the 10 day IL. For the first time in a long time, the Yankees have enjoyed having Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on the field at the same time. Now it’s back to the next man up mentality. Stanton was on the IL twice last year and only ended up playing in 18 games. Stanton was really showing what he could do when healthy. He’s had better plate discipline with lots of walks, three home runs, and an OPS of 1.038.
Manager Aaron Boone had this to say about Stanton after the game:
“[I’m] hurting for him, period,” Boone said. “I know what he’s done to be here. I know obviously his play speaks for itself. So hopefully it’s something that doesn’t end up keeping him down too long.”
The New York Yankees started out the season with a bang, going 8-1. but in their last six games, they are 2-4, dropping them from first in all of baseball, to fourth tied with the Minnesota Twins at 10-5. They still lead the East Division. Starting pitching has been a problem for the Yankees, something that they must solve if they are to get to the 28th World Championship.