Yankees: Good news and bad news in blowout loss to Tampa Bay

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The past few days for the New York Yankees have been quite intense. Despite being fully vaccinated, seven members of the Yankees staff and shortstop Gleyber Torres have all contracted COVID-19, and while the majority of them don’t have any symptoms, proving that the vaccine is, in fact, working, these breakthrough positive results are alarming.

Clearly, the operations of a baseball team and being in confined quarters for prolonged periods of time can have a fact on the viral load of the virus, but this strange turn of events undoubtedly had an impact on their performance on Thursday.

The Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, who avoided a three-game sweep in Tampa. Starting pitcher Jamison Taillon lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs, but struck out nine batters in the process. He currently has a 5.40 ERA on the year, a bit too high for the expectations general manager Brian Cashman had when he acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates months ago.

However, Taillon is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery and battling injuries the past few seasons, so I imagine he will improve as the season progresses. This game seemed to be a toss-away for the Yankees, who couldn’t get anything going on offense, recording just five hits. While Tampa struck out 16 times, they still manage 10 hits and nine runs, thanks to a few homers and solid contact hitting.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

The Yankees were beat and battered by 41-year old pitcher Rich Hill, who struck out nine batters. Ray’s manager Kevin Cash was ecstatic about his veteran starter, who clearly has something special going on with his breaking pitches.

“He was outstanding.” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve talked about the last three outings, and now four that he’s been on a really good run. He’s had good rhythm, you see him change his delivery a little bit at times. He’s got a good feel for what he’s doing.”

The effects of the Covid situation have clearly spilled over on to other players, who might be concerned for their own health or the status of their teammates.

Star infielder DJ LeMahieu stated: “It was a crazy few days.”

Hopefully, all of those infected with a virus will return to the team shortly, as they remain asymptomatic. It is important to note that the vaccine does not stop one from contracting the virus but rather limits the symptoms and intensity.