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

harrison bader, yankees
May 7, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) reacts after hitting a triple against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fifth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees suffered a disheartening loss against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon. Despite holding a 6-0 lead going into the 5th inning, ace Gerrit Cole couldn’t subdue the persistent Tampa batting order.

Regrettably, for the Bombers, this loss led to a blown series, increasing their loss total to 17 for the year. They now trail by 10 games in the AL East, with the Rays maintaining their successful run.

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Good news for the Yankees:

Although there wasn’t much good news from the game, given the blown lead, a few individual performances did stand out. Harrison Bader continued his hot streak, securing three hits and two RBIs, courtesy of a two-runner blast at the top of the 3rd inning.

Later, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, driving in Bader to extend the Yankees’ lead to six. Over the past three games, Bader has collected six hits, seven RBIs, and two home runs.

The Yankees anticipate Aaron Judge’s return on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, ultimately assembling an outfield deserving of an MLB diamond.

In addition to the Yankees’ veteran outfielder, Oswaldo Cabrera contributed two hits, while both DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres notched two hits apiece. Anthony Rizzo walked three times, recording a solo homer and an RBI.

As for the pitching, Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta, and Michael King combined for 3.0 innings of action, giving up one hit and striking out seven batters together. The bullpen continues to perform well for the Bombers, but Cole’s subpar performance was the notable downside.

Bad news for the Yankees:

Cole had a challenging outing, even though he still holds a 2.09 ERA on the season. Over 5.0 innings, Cole threw 95 pitches, allowing eight hits and five runs. He did strike out six batters, but two homers, including a solo shot and a 3-run blast at the bottom of the 6th inning, put him in a difficult position.

While manager Aaron Boone likely should have utilized Wandy Peralta in relief of Cole, he opted for Jimmy Cordero, who immediately gave up an earned run, enabling Tampa to tie the game.

Offensively, Anthony Volpe will want to forget this contest, striking out three times in five at-bats. Jake Bauers also struck out twice in two at-bats. The Yankees need more from the young leadoff hitter, who has displayed streaky play during the first few weeks of the regular season. At just 21 years old, he was bound to experience rookie growing pains, but without Judge in the lineup, his role becomes even more crucial.

The Yankees will turn their attention to the Oakland Athletics on Monday at 7:05 PM, with Nestor Cort├ęs on the mound. Cortes, recovering from strep throat, is feeling much better after having his starting slot pushed back a few days.