The New York Yankees went into last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays with the hope of taking the series from them for the second time this season. The Yankees won the first game 4-3 and last night 3-1 in ten innings. The Yankees record is now 7-8 against the Rays. Tonight the Yankees will go for the sweep with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound.
Nestor Cortes Jr. continues sharp play
After a win on Tuesday night, Nestor Cortes Jr. took to the mound last night to get the second win in a row against the rival Tampa Bay Rays; he did not disappoint. Cortes Jr. has been really sharp since he became a starter with the Yankees. Last night was no different. He went a full five innings and 79 pitches as the Yankees continue to stretch him out. He gave up just one run while striking out 5 Rays hitters. He was using all of his pitches, mystifying the Rays with all of his different looks.
He again did not get the win. He is 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA in eleven games, three of them were starts.
A rather dull game got exciting
With Nestor Cortes Jr. pitching really well and no home runs in the game for either team, it was pretty dull to watch. There were only 10 hits in the game. A problem that has dogged the Yankees all season continued last night as they left 6 on base going 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Last night’s Yankee bullpen was brilliant, not allowing a run after Cortes Jr. left after five innings.
If the first eight innings were on the dull side that all changed in the ninth inning with Chad Green on the mound, he held the Rays down with the game tied at 1, forcing the 10th inning. In the tenth inning, with ghost runner Gio Urshela at second, Greg Allen against Pete Fairbanks got hit by a pitch advancing to first. Aaron Judge, with two on and no outs, singled to left. Urshela scored. That knocked Fairbanks out to the game. He was replaced by Andrew Kittredge, who threw a wild pitch scoring another New York Yankees run.
At the bottom of the frame with a two-run lead, closer Aroldis Chapman came in to close it out for the Yankees; that’s when it got really interesting. Diaz was the ghost running at second. Lowe struck out on a 101 mph fastball. Arozarena walked. Nelson Cruz pinch hit for Wendle. On a wild pitch, Diaz went to third and was called out. Upon review, he was called safe. Cruz then, with men on second and third, struck out. Mejia flew out to LeMahieu, who made a spectacular on-the-ground catch to end the inning and winning it for the New York Yankees.
Aaron Judge scratched at the last moment
Slugger Aaron Judge was scheduled in the lineup but at the very last moment was scratched from the lineup with no explanation. He wasn’t even seen in the dugout through the first five innings, causing fans to believe he might be sick or injured. But in the fifth inning, he appeared out of nowhere to pinch hit for Estevan Florial. Judge remained for the rest of the game.
After the game, in an interview with Meredith Marakovits, he explained after returning from the Covid list Tuesday night, there were further tests, and those tests were not returned before the start of Wednesday night’s game. Once those tests came back, he was available. Of the Yankee players that went on the Covid list, Judge was the only one that was not asymptomatic. When Marakovits asked if he was vaccinated, he avoided the question.