Yeesh. The Yankees have played better ballgames. The pitching staff imploded again Saturday — the Yankees have allowed 37 runs in their last six games despite playing three of those games against the Royals, the worst hitting team in baseball — and the Yankees fell 9-5 to the Rays. The Yankees have suddenly lost seven of their last ten games. Annoying! It’s Saturday, so let’s give this game no one wants to remember the bullet point recap treatment:
- Terrible Tanaka: Masahiro Tanaka has been so crappy this year you’d think he’s a Mets starter. He had another disaster start Saturday, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks in three innings plus five batters, including three home runs. Tanaka has now allowed 16 runs and eight homers in his last 5.2 innings. Oy vey. His location was terrible again in this game and his pitches were flat. Look at the Evan Longoria homer. Flat. Look at the Jesus Sucre double. Flat. The ball just spins and does nothing. Cement mixers. I’m not sure what the Yankees do now. Skip his next start? That’s tough to do when you’re five games into a 20 games in 20 days stretch. Stick him in an MRI tube? Okay, I guess. Either way, Tanaka’s performance has officially crossed over from “annoying slow start” to “major cause for concern.” He has become a Big Problem.
- Aaron & Gary: On the bright side, both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez hit home runs, and that’s always fun. This was the second of hopefully many times both go deep in the same game. They also did it on August 14th last year, in Judge’s second MLB game. Judge smacked a solo shot in the second inning to tie the game 1-1. Sanchez hit a solo homer in the fifth to cut Tampa’s lead to 6-4. Between the dingers, Chase Headley had a clutch two-out, two-run double to tie the game 3-3 in the fourth. The game still felt winnable at that point. Then Tanaka and the bullpen barfed it away.
- Out of Reach: The bottom of the fifth was probably the lowest point of the season since the 1-4 start. Tommy Layne and Gio Gallegos combined to allow three runs on three hits, two walks, and one hit batsman. They needed 41 pitches to do it. Also, both Joe Girardi and Larry Rothschild were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Girardi covered home plate with dirt and home plate ump Scott Barry didn’t even bother to clean it off. Sanchez had to do it. Pretty embarrassing all around.
- Leftovers: Matt Andriese hit Judge in the sixth as retaliation for Layne hitting Corey Dickerson in the fifth. Dickerson hit two homers earlier in the game. I don’t think Layne hit Dickerson on purpose, I think he’s just not very good, but the Rays retaliated. Andriese was ejected and Judge was fine. So stupid … Sanchez took a brutal foul tip to the face mask in the sixth. It came up and hit him in the jaw. He stayed in the game, but yikes. Gary’s been on the wrong end of a few foul tips this road trip … Chasen Shreve (four outs) and Jonathan Holder (three outs) were the only pitchers not to get knocked around … the trainer came out to look at Shreve in the seventh after he shook his arm, but he threw some test pitches and stayed in the game … Sanchez (single, homer) and Judge (homer, double, hit-by-pitch) led the way offensively … 12 of the final 13 Yankees to bat made outs.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page either. The Yankees will try to avoid the sweep in the series finale Sunday afternoon. That’s a regular 1pm ET start. CC Sabathia and Chris Archer are the scheduled starters. I’m sure it’ll be fine. /sobs