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Yankees blow their trop in weekend sweep to Rays

Well that was definitely not the kind of start the Yankees wanted to get off to in their mini-road trip to Tampa and Philadelphia.  The Yankees were swept for the first time all season when they lost to a surprisingly decent Rays team that barely has any starting pitching.

Game one of the series was a pitchers’ duel, pitchers being plural.  C.C. Sabathia pitched serviceable, only giving up two runs (one earned) through 5 1/3 innings.  His one mistake was in the fifth inning when he tried to glove flip a ground ball into Greg Bird’s glove.  The ball went over his head and that run eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.  The only other run for the Rays was a single by Willy Adames, in an inning where Sabathia escaped after loading the bases.

The Yankees had nothing going except a measly single by Aaron Judge to knock in the only run of the day.  It’s incredibly frustrating considering the Rays’ “starter” pitched one inning and the Rays used six relievers to string together a win.  Sergio Romo closed the door in the ninth after a Miguel Andujar single, and the rest was history.

The bats were just as silent for game two, mustering only three hits against “starter” Wilmer Font.  Font shut down the Yankees for 5 2/3 innings and the Rays bullpen held the Yankees’ bats hostage for the second day in a row.  With those two games in the fold, the Yankees scored just one run in 25 innings.

Sonny Gray was good, but maddeningly inconsistent once again.  Gray gave up three early runs in two innings after a few singles, a few doubles and wound up with four runs over 6 2/3 innings.  It was an okay start for Gray, better than most, but considering he didn’t get any run support he could have pitched a no-hitter and lost.  It’s a shame because he looked like he had turned the corner, but he’s just extremely inconsistent.  The 4-0 loss was brutal, but it would only get worse.

Game three was one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen.  Domingo German was bad.  Very bad to be quite honest, the kind of performance that’s discouraging.  German pitched very well against Seattle and was looking to hold his own against a weak Rays line-up, but six runs in three innings isn’t going to do it.

German got in trouble early and often, giving up two runs in the second and four runs in the third.  His third was especially bad, as he gave up four extra base hits, including a solo home run by Adeiny Hechavarria.  He was even gifted a lead after Miguel Andujar blasted a three run homer to give the Yankees a brief lead.

The Yankees pulled closer and closer to the Rays in the fifth, as Didi Gregorius and the all of a sudden hot Giancarlo Stanton hit back to back doubles.  Stanton evened things up in the eight with a solo shot, and Clint Frazier looked to have given the Yankees a lead when the ball hit off the speaker connected to the roof and fell down for a fly ball out.  According to Tropicana Field rules, any ball that hits an obstruction near the roof and is in fair territory can be called an out.

With the game hanging in the balance, the stupid Tropicana Field design robbed the Yankees of a victory.  The bullpen was again masterful until the bottom of the 12th, when Chasen Shreve with one pitch lost it for the Yankees.  His first pitch of the game was taken deep by Jake Bauers to end the game.  Shreve has been terrible and he should be designated for assignment, especially with Tommy Kahnle getting healthier every day and in the fold.

Bauer’s home run was the gut shot to the Yankees’ terrible weekend.  None of the starting pitchers pitched all that well, but they had opportunities to win each of those games.  Between terrible approaches with RISP and an even worse Tropicana Field environment, the Yankees go home with their tail between their legs.  No but seriously, according to Katie Sharp, Chasen Shreve in the last 18 games has given up every single one of the Yankees’ bullpen’s runs.  He has given up five in 6 1/3 while the rest of the bullpen have given up zero in 54 innings.

The Yankees will be just fine, it’s just discouraging to lose to such a makeshift team.  They really can’t allow themselves to get into the mentality of playing down to their competition, and with a large portion of the hard schedule already done with, the Yankees need to buckle down and beat the teams they should beat.  Let’s hope that Gary Sanchez’s injury doesn’t keep him out too long (more coming on that) and that the starting pitching starts improve.

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