The Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 16-1 at Tropicana Field as nothing went well for the team. In Friday and Saturday’s game the pitching staff combined to allow an unacceptable 27 runs to a Rays offense that was previously struggling.
Dean Anna, who is a natural shortstop, and had previously played in seven games at shortstop and three at second, ended up pitching in this game as a last resort to not have to use a normal member of the bullpen in a blowout. He was instructed by manager Joe Girardi to just play catch, and not throw hard, so that he would not hurt his arm.
Anna ended up allowing two runs in the eighth inning. Anna knew that since he was in the game it was not memorable day for the Yankees. “When you see me in there, it’s not a good day for us.”
Ivan Nova’s curveball was not working as he allowed eight runs in four innings and had to leave after he gave up a single and a double to start the fifth because of right elbow soreness. In Nova’s four innings, he allowed four homers, including two to the light hitting Ryan Hanigan (who hit two all of last season), eight hits, four strikeouts and only threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 21 batters he faced.
It is not known if he will be able to make his next scheduled start because he had an MRI on his right elbow after the game. The Yankees need him to return to the way he pitched the second-half of last season because he has the ability to greatly help the pitching staff.
However, so far this season he is pitching like he might need to return to AAA Scranton to find his dominating form. In his first start, where he managed to allow only two runs, he gave up six hits and five walks and was lucky to come away with the win. In the game against Tampa on Saturday and his second start of the season he combined to allow 15 runs, 18 hits and only pitch 7.2 innings.
The Yankees need Nova to find his form that allowed him to be the best starter on the staff in the second half of last season because they don’t have a pitcher in AAA waiting to take his spot. Vidal Nuno, who is getting a spot start on Sunday, would likely be the one to take his spot in the rotation if he goes on the disabled list.
Matt Daley, who was just called up before the game to replace the ineffective Cesar Cabral, looked like he didn’t belong as he allowed six runs (four earned runs), five hits and one homer. After Daley intentionally walked James Loney, he allowed Wil Myers’s second homer of the game to make the score 10-1. Daley was taken out of the game after he allowed four consecutive batters to reach base in the sixth.
Dellin Betances, who was pitching in his first game since Thursday, allowed Delay’s inherited runners to score and then retired the side in order in the eighth inning. He was the only bright spot for the Yankees and he even could have been better since he walked two batters in the seventh, but his ERA still sits at a perfect 0.00.
The four Yankees pitchers allowed six Rays hitters to record two or more hits. Longoria, whose 164th home run put him one beyond Carlos Pena for most in the history of the franchise, continued to own Yankees pitching. He was 2-3, scored two runs and drove in four. He is hitting 7-10 in the first three games of the series and in his past three seasons against the Yankees he is hitting .320 with 16 homers. That is his highest batting average against any team.
Kelly Johnson was the only Yankee who made any impact offensively as his double to deep left center in the fifth scored Alfonso Soriano. Chris Archer, who is in his second season, has been outstanding against the Yankees. Including Saturday’ start, he has a 1.26 ERA against New York and is the first Tampa pitcher to win four straight starts against the Yankees.
Nuno, who is in his second season with the Yankees, will try to get the Yankees to split the series against the Rays. He had an excellent 2.25 ERA last season, which included three starts and two relief appearances. In his start at Tropicana Field last season he limited Tampa Bay to only two runs in six innings.
The Yankees hope that he can have similar production in the series finale and that the offense will be able to come to life against Cesar Ramos, who has a 7.50 ERA pitching in the bullpen this season. Mark Teixeira should help the offense as he is scheduled to return from the DL and play in Sunday’s afternoon game. He is 2 for 6 with a double in his career against Ramos.
UPDATE: Ivan Nova has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a right ulnar collateral ligament injury, Scott Sizemore has been optioned to AAA Scranton and Daley has been designated for assignment. Delay is the second player who has been designated for assignment in the span of two days. Mark Teixeira has been reinstated from the disabled list, Preston Claiborne has been recalled from AAA Scranton and Brian Mitchell has been brought up from AA Trenton. Mitchell will likely only be with the team for a few days.