Yankees: Good news and bad news in loss to Tampa

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Apr 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another loss for the New York Yankees, who are one game below .500 to start the season. After a disappointing defeat against the Baltimore Orioles in what would’ve been the final game in a three-game sweep, the Yankees took their talents to Tampa Bay, where they were blown out by the Rays on Friday afternoon.

By a score of 10-5, the Yankee offense once again struggled, and their defense wasn’t much better. Starting pitcher Corey Kluber lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up five hits and five runs over just 62 pitches. He currently has a 5.68 ERA on the season — the Yankees brought in Nick Nelson to help soften the blow, but he proceeded to allow four runs in just 1.2 innings of work.

Overall, it’s too early to make any assumptions on players based on a limited sample size, but Kluber has struggled to start his 2021 season, which is justifiable based on the lack of reps he’s taken in recent years.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

There were far more negatives than positives in the loss to Tampa on Friday, but let’s start with the offensive side of the ball. While five runs might be adequate against some teams, Tampa has a fantastic lineup, tallying 13 hits over the course of the contest. The Yankees totaled seven, with two coming from DJ LeMahieu and the rest spread throughout the lineup.

LeMahieu logged a solo home run in the eighth inning, and the only other Yankee to go deep was Aaron Hicks in the third, driving in Giancarlo Stanton. However, if you look at the scoring summary, Tampa only hit one homer, which was a solo shot by Willy Adames. Their ability to get on base and make solid contact is what spurred a 10-run performance by Tampa, who currently has the same record as the Yankees after being swept in three games by the Boston Red Sox. It seems as if this was just a poor outing in the pitching department by the Bombers, who will feature Domingo German on Saturday afternoon.

German lost his first outing of the season, allowing four hits and two homers over just three innings. Hopefully, he will bounce back with a better performance, as the Yankees desperately need to snap their inconsistent streak.

Other than the usual suspects, Clint Frazier has had a tough start to the season, currently hitting .200 and striking out three times over four at-bats in the loss. Jay Bruce has also been ineffective, currently hitting .125 with two strikeouts on the day.