Pleasant weather didn’t mean a pleasant game for the Yankees. This was not fun to watch. The Rays had one of their best starters dealing while their bats barraged the Yanks’ arms, particularly Michael Pineda. The Yankees still won the series but not a lot of people will want to look back to this game. It’s the weekend so we’re going to do this gamer in bullet points.
- That first inning: After getting two quick outs, Pineda gave up two big hits to surrender a 2-0 lead. With one strike away from getting out of the inning, Pineda allowed a big double to center to Evan Longoria and a first-pitch homer to Corey Dickerson. Oh the Rays weren’t done here. Former Yankee Steve Pearce hit a single to follow up and Brad Miller lined an RBI double to drive him in. 3-0. You thought they were done, right? Steve Souza Jr. crushed a fastball right down the middle for a two-run homer. 5-0. Well, they would make it six hits in a row with a Kevin Kiermaier double. Thankfully, Curt Casali popped out to end the inning. What a weird one.
- The rest of Pineda’s outing: It went better than the first inning but “better” is a bit of a loose term here. In the next four innings, he did allow only two runs but they were two solo bombs by Steve Pearce (leading off the third) and Steven Souza (two homers for the birthday boy). Impressively however, Pineda struck out 8 batters in that span, making it 9 punch outs in five total innings. His swing-and-miss stuff was there but his gut-wrenchingly bad strike zone command was as well. His final line: 5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s and 4 HR’s. Peak Mike right there.
- The only one: New York scored their only run of the day in the fourth. Brett Gardner got hit by the pitch leading off and advanced to second on fielder’s choice out. A-Rod hit a booming double that missed being a 2-run homer by inches. His hit made it 6-1, which is better than 6-0 (I have no idea how else to sugarcoat it).
- The Glasgow Smyly: The Yankees had two innings with two runners on base against Smyly (fifth and sixth) and failed to score on both. They were 1-for-7 in RISP situations overall. Brian McCann went up to bat three times and struck out in all of them. A-Rod, who drove in the Yanks’ lone run of the day, had to be lifted in the sixth with a tweaked oblique. Don’t know how serious that is right now but it was one of those days for New York. If I could splurge on field level seats for a Yankee game, I would be so glad that it wasn’t today.
- Leftovers: Kirby Yates was the best Yankee player today. He pitched two scoreless innings against his former team, striking out four and allowing only two baserunners (hit and a HBP). Good for him that he’s found his spot in the Yankee roster, doing all the dirty, non-glamorous relief work that someone needs to take on.
- Box score, WPA, highlights and standings: If you do dare to look back at today’s game, here’s today’s box score, updated standings, WPA and video highlights.
The Yankees will start a 9-game road trip against the Rangers, Red Sox and Orioles tomorrow. Tomorrow’s game against Texas will be a 8 pm one and it will be on ESPN and YES. Enjoy the rest of the beautiful Sunday.