Tampa Bay Rays finally take a series in Yankee Stadium.
Believe it or not, this current series which concluded today can be seen as a glimpse into the future. With Thursday’s win over the Yankees, the Rays currently sit 13 games back of the Bronx Bombers. That might seem absolutely terrible. However, look up at the standings and see that the Yankees are 10.5 back of the Red Sox. We are as far back of the Yankees as they are to the Sox. This is not meant to be demeaning to the Yankees as they should be able to lock up a Wild Card spot and win close to 100 games. It simply shows that the Rays are closer to the playoffs than the numbers might show.
As for the actual games, Tuesday’s opener was kicked off by a dominant start by former Blue Jay J.A Happ. He threw 7 scoreless innings allowing 0 earned runs and striking out 4 Rays. This game showed how deadly the Yankees’ pitching staff can be as with Happ going 7, Betances and Chapman were able to finish the game pitching the 8th and 9th innings respectively. In the 4-1 loss, Willy Adames hit his 6th home run of the season, teeing off Dellin Betances.
One loss, let’s take two.
Game 2 of the the 3 game set was a totally different situation. The Rays took care of business in the 6-1 win. Jacob Faria allowed 1 run over 3 and 1/3 innings opening the door for Yarbrough to pitch 4 scoreless innings and get the win. Outfielder Brandon Lowe was able to get his first 2 hits of his MLB career and get his first 2 RBIs as well. Mallex Smith also had 2 RBIs as the outfield combined for 7/14 with 5 RBIs between Lowe, Smith, and Kiermaier.
In the rubber match of the series, Blake Snell took the mound and he did shine. Only allowing 2 hits over 5 innings of work, Snell was able to prevent the Yankees from getting any momentum. Tanaka started for the Yankees and allowed 2 runs quickly in the first inning. A double by Wendle scored Smith in the 1st inning and 2 batters later, Pham doubled in Wendle to give the Rays a 2-0 advantage. The Rays were able to hit Tanaka around for 9 hits but could not string enough together to get another run against him.