After winning the first two games of the series on walk-off hits, the Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Sunday. afternoon. Ivan Nova didn’t not pitch well, the team made three errors and the offense only had three hits.
Nova had his worst start of his three outings since coming off of the disabled list, as he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks in five innings pitched. In his previous two starts, he allowed two and zero earned runs respectively.
“I thought he did a pretty good job for not having anything,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He just had a hard time throwing strikes.”
He had trouble locating his pitches and missed a lot with his first pitch curveballs. James Loney, who has a .303 average this season against the Yankees and between 2012 and 2014 he had a .358 average (58-162), hit a single in the first inning to right to score David DeJesus and Evan Longoria to give the Rays all the runs they would need.
In the second inning, back-up catcher Curt Casali hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Kevin Kiermaier to give the Rays a 3-0 lead. In the first two innings, the Rays had four hits including Kiermaier’s triple and one walk.
The run that the Rays scored in the fifth inning was unearned due to Nova’s error. Casali doubled to leadoff the inning and then Asdrubal Cabrera sacrificed between third and the mound, but instead of taking the easy out at first, Nova made a wild throw to third causing Casali to score easily. Nova should have thrown to first because it would have taken a perfect throw to get Casali out at third.
To end the fifth inning, Nova got Loney out on a shallow pop up and then got Logan Forsythe to line out right to Stephen Drew.
Erasmo Ramirez, who has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last seven appearances, only allowed one run on three hits in his six innings pitched. Ramirez is an outstanding 5-1 with a 1.18 ERA in his last seven starts, which proves he has dominated any team that he has faced. He threw 99 pitched and had six ground ball outs and eight fly ball outs.
The only run that the Yankees scored during the game was an Alex Rodriguez solo homer to left center in the sixth inning. Chase Headley and Garrett Jones were the only other two Yankees who had a hit. Jones had a chance at putting some runs on the board in the first inning but he got out with the bases loaded in the first inning.
“They have a bunch of big left-handed hitters, lot of power, and I think his changeup really plays well for him against these hitters,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s able to separate a lot with the fastball and the changeup combination.”
Bryan Mitchell, who had been a starter during his five seasons in the minors and had a 2.79 at Triple-A Scranton this season, allowed two earned runs (four overall) in his two innings pitched in relief of Nova. Jose Pirela made two errors on one play in the eighth as he made a fielding error on Loney’s hit to him and then made a throwing error that caused Loney to advance to second and Longoria to third.
Forsythe singled to score Loney and Longoria and then the other two runs came with Chris Capuano pitching. This combined with the effectiveness of the Rays relievers put the game out of reach. The Yankees were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven runners on base, which makes it hard to win a game especially when getting a sub-par start from your starter.
The Yankees had their three-game winning streak end, but they are still a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles and two games ahead of the Rays and Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. The Yankees have an off day on Monday before playing a three-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Oakland Athletics.
The Yankees lost the the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Tuesday night for their fourth loss in a row. It was also their eighth loss in their past 10 games. Three out of their last four losses have been by one run.
There were only two highlights offensively for the Yankees. Derek Jeter’s double in the fourth (534) tied him with Lou Gehrig for most doubles in franchise history. Jeter is also currently second in runs scored, first in hits and first in steals in the 101-year history of the franchise being known as the Yankees.
Also in the fourth inning, with Jeter on third after Jacoby Ellsbury’s single, Jeter scored after Ellsbury’s stolen base because of an error by shortstop Ben Zobrist. They were in position to score more runs in the inning but Carlos Beltran flied out and Alfonso Soriano struck out after Ellsbury stole second off of David Price.
Hiroki Kuroda had his best start of the season as he pitched eight innings for the first time after allowing only two earned runs, one walk and striking out seven. Kuroda allowed nine hits, but the damage was limited as a result of only allowing two extra-base hits.
The first run that he allowed came off of a Logan Forsythe single in the fourth. The game-winning run for the Rays came off of a James Loney homer to right center in the sixth. Loney has enjoyed hitting against Yankees pitching this season and in previous seasons as .441 average against the Yankees this season, and he had a .341 average against them from 2011 to 2013.
Kuroda should have been able to get his sixth win of the season, but the offense was only 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Mark Teixeira, Beltran and Soriano were all 0-2 with runners in scoring position. Brian Roberts was 0-4 and is hitting only .125 in his last six games. He is not adding much at all to the offense right now, which means that it would make sense to bring up the impressive Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Scranton. He could improve the offense in a similar way that Robinson Cano did in 2005.
Soriano, who is now playing part-time, has also not been giving the Yankees any average or power on offense since he has one hit in his last 12 at-bats and has combined for zero homers and three RBIs in the last 10 games that he has appeared in. Brian Cashman needs to add another bat and another starter before the trade deadline.
The Yankees will play the final game of their series against Tampa Bay at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Vidal Nuno will look to repeat the control he showed in his last start when he didn’t allow a run in 5.2 innings pitched. Ending their stretch of 15 consecutive games against the American League East with a win would be a lot better than the alternative. Jake Odorizzi will get the start for the Rays.
David Robertson, who has had a very good season except for his appearance on June 1 where he allowed five runs, is tied for fourth in the AL with 18 saves. He has a 2.93 ERA and an outstanding ratio of 48 strikeouts to only nine walks. He has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and has recorded multiple strikeouts in six of those games.
On Tuesday’s Off the Bat, which is a baseball show on MTV2, Robertson went to Union Square Park and made many peoples day better by giving Yankee tickets to random people who did and did not know who he was. He even gave free tickets to a Mets fan. Here is the video:
The Yankees will play the Tampa Bay Rays (14-17) at 1:05 p.m. to wrap up their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. If they win, the Yankees will win the series two games to one, and will improve their record to 17-13. They are also split their season series, three games to three, so far against the Rays.
Yesterday, the Yankees got yet another solid start from Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees needed his 7.0 innings pitched because 9.1 innings in Friday’s 14 inning loss to the Rays. Tanaka, who has now pitched 7 innings or more in five of his six starts and has been the team’s most reliable starter, now has an of 2.53, a 4-0 record and 51 strikeouts to only six walks.
CC Sabathia will look to follow Tanaka’s lead and make it two solid starts in a row. He has looked better overall in his last few starts, but he has had trouble avoiding that big inning that has hurt him in many of his starts. In Sabathia’s start against Tampa Bay on April 17, he had his best outing of his season, as he only allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven. The lefty will look to rebound from his last start where he gave four runs in five innings to the Seattle Mariners. All four of the runs that the Mariners scored off of him came in the fifth inning.
Three players on the Rays that Sabathia will have to concentrate on are Desmond Jennings, Evan Longoria and James Loney. Jennings has a .276 average, four homers and 10 RBIs. Sabathia and John Ryan Murphy will have to pay attention to him when on first because he has six steals. Longoria, who has a .400 average against the Yankees this season and has a .411 average against Sabathia in his career, has three homers and 16 RBIs this season. Loney is hitting .407 in his last seven days and is hitting .343 on the season.
Erik Bedard, who is a veteran lefty in his first season with the Rays, will get the start against the Yankees. In three starts and four appearances he has a 5.52 ERA, a high 1.84 WHIP and an underwhelming 10 strikeout two 10 walks strikeout to walk ratio. However, in Bedard’s last start, against the Red Sox in Boston, he only gave up one run in five innings pitched.
A factor that could help the Yankees while Bedard is pitching is that between 2011 and 2013 Bedard had 5.47 ERA in away games while having a better 3.45 ERA in home games. He is obviously much more comfortable pitching in front of his home fans.
Mark Teixeira is beginning to look like the hitter he was back in 2011 when he hit 39 homers and drove in 111 runs. During spring training, Joe Girardi said that he thinks Teixeira could hit 30 homers and drive in 1oo runs this season, and he could do that if he continues hitting the way he has recently. In he past five games, Tex has hit four homers, drove in six runs and has a .368 average. The Yankees lineup is so much deeper when Teixeria is hitting well. They didn’t have the luxury of having a productive Teixeria in the lineup last season because he was only able to play in 15 games due to an injured right wrist.