Yankees: Good news and bad news from 8-7 loss to Tampa

anthony rizzo, yankees
May 14, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) watches his two run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports


The Yankees surrendered the series finale to the Rays today, falling 8-7 due to a series of mistakes. The game was another riveting encounter between two skilled teams, with a questionable bullpen decision proving decisive.

Clarke Schmidt endured another challenging game, and the Yankees’ offense couldn’t keep pace with Tampa. However, they didn’t capitulate and showed considerable resilience during this series with the AL East leaders. This experience can hopefully serve as momentum for their forthcoming series against Toronto.

Schmidt performed adequately until the 5th inning, a pattern that has become all too familiar. His struggle to maintain performance deeper into games is why I continue to believe he’s best suited for the bullpen. While he was dealt a blow when Albert Abreu conceded a grand slam with inherited runners, Schmidt shouldn’t have let them reach base in the first place.

Schmidt’s final line was 4.2 innings pitched, allowing 7 earned runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5. The 5th inning remains his nemesis, and his season ERA has now risen to 6.30.

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The Yankees are unsure how to use their bullpen:

The Yankees currently appear uncertain about how to manage their bullpen, and manager Aaron Boone made this clear today. He opted to bring in Albert Abreu with bases loaded, who promptly surrendered a go-ahead grand slam that spelled the Yankees’ downfall. Abreu’s recent performances have been poor, boasting an 8.50 ERA over his last ten appearances. Despite the bullpen being stretched thin during this series, I still don’t comprehend Boone’s decision to use Abreu in this situation. After Abreu’s 2.1 innings, Ryan Weber was brought into the game.

Weber pitched a scoreless inning, conceding only a single hit. The bullpen strategy today remains unclear, but a series split with the Rays isn’t a terrible result. The Yankees have been performing better recently, and hopefully, the bullpen can regain its form as the season continues. Ian Hamilton and Wandy Peralta have both been outstanding, so there are certainly positives to consider, despite today’s tough game.

Ron Marinaccio returned to form after his inning, reminding us of his usual excellent performances. After conceding 4 runs in his previous two appearances, he delivered a shutout inning today, featuring two strikeouts.

If Marinaccio is performing well, it significantly bolsters the bullpen, giving Boone an additional late-inning option. He remains one of baseball’s best, and the team needs him to continue performing as he did today.

The Yankees’ offense performed well today, but they were unable to overcome the devastating grand slam that put victory out of reach. They scored 7 runs, usually sufficient for a win, but the Rays proved slightly more effective. Several players stood out, and the team never gave up, but ultimately the task was just too great. Anthony Volpe provided a glimmer of hope in the 8th with a significant 2-run homer to reduce the deficit to one but to no avail.

Volpe performed well, going 2-4 on the afternoon and concluding an impressive series against the Rays. Aaron Judge added an RBI single, Gleyber Torres hit a pinch-hit single on his scheduled day off, and DJ LeMahieu continued his solid hitting with a pair of base hits. Anthony Rizzo also continued to shine, hitting a 2-run homer and drawing a walk.

The offense wasn’t the issue today; they performed their duties effectively. However, the pitching staff fell short. Harrison Bader not only managed a single on the day his mother announced the lineup but also executed a phenomenal diving catch in center field, preventing the game from turning even more unfavorable. Ever since his return from the injured list, Bader has consistently made a significant impact, and the Yankees are evidently pleased to have him back. If he continues to perform at this level, discussions about a contract extension are surely on the horizon.