Well, winning Thursday’s game and acquiring Alfonso Soriano was fun for a few hours. Reality slapped the Yankees in the face on Friday night as the far superior Rays completely dominated them in the 10-6 loss. By the end of the game, the infield was Brent Lillibridge, Eduardo Nunez, David Adams, and Chris Stewart. It was one of those games. Let’s recap:
- CC Stands For Consistently Crappy: Ninety-four pitchers have thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title this year, and CC Sabathia now ranks 78th with a 4.65 ERA. Tampa clobbered the big man for seven runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings, making him the only pitcher in baseball to allow at least seven runs in three straight starts at some point in 2013. That’s very bad. A six-run second inning put this one to bed early, though Austin Romine deserves an assist for an awful throwing error. If the Yankees had a viable alternative, this would be a good time to stick Sabathia on phantom DL so he can straighten stuff out. He’s been atrocious for a two months now.
- Late Rally: The score was 10-1 at one point, so Joe Girardi did the wise thing and took out some regulars so they could rest in the late innings. The replacements put up a fight though, scoring two runs in the eighth and three in the ninth. Adams had a run-scoring single in each inning while Stewart (double), Melky Mesa (single) and Soriano (fielder’s choice) drove in runs as well. They had the trying run on deck on two occasions after being down by nine runs, so that’s cool. It was fun making Tampa sweat at bit. The O’Neill Theory is officially in effect for Saturday.
- Fonzy’s Return: Soriano’s first game back in pinstripes was a forgettable one — he went 0-for-5 with a run scored. He flew out harmlessly with two outs and the bases loaded in the third, then beat out a potential double play ball with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth. I thought he looked surprisingly good in the field. Not great, but Soriano showed some decent range to his left and right. His arm is … let’s just say runners won’t hesitate to take the extra-base against him. Hopefully things get better from here on out, the first game is always the toughest.
- Leftovers: Big ups to Adam Warren for sparing the bullpen with four innings of long relief. He allowed a three-run homer to James Loney that turned out to be pretty big, but he did his job on Friday … Romine had a single and a walk, so he continued to swing a hot bat … Lillibridge, Adams, Mesa, and Brett Gardner all had two hits apiece … Robinson Cano went 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his average below .300 (.299 now) and get his walk pace back over 80 (80.2 now) … the Yankees still (still!) have not hit a homer since the All-Star break. They’ve gone eight straight games without a dinger for the first time since going ten straight in 19-friggin-84. The Bronx Bombers (hah!) are the only team in baseball without a homer in the second half. Hate this lineup.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. With the win, the Rays take over sole possession of first place in the AL East. The Yankees are seven back of the division lead in the loss column and three back of a wildcard spot with two teams ahead of them. Anytime they want to start making up ground is cool with me. Ivan Nova and Chris Archer is your pitching matchup on Saturday afternoon. Give RAB Tickets a look if you want to catch the game in person.