The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium to improve their record to 13-8 and give them a two-game lead for first place over the Rays and Boston Red Sox in the mediocre AL East. It was their second win in a row during this series and their fifth win in a row this season against Tampa Bay.
Chase Whitely helped the Yankees get their 10th win in their last 12 games. With the win, the Yankees have now won their last four series that they have played. Whitley, who was called up to make a spot start to give the rotation an extra day of rest, allowed only one run and had five strikeouts in his five innings pitched.
The reason that Whitley was taken out of the game after five innings is because had had thrown 93 pitches. He was able to get out of trouble in the second inning as he got Tim Beckham to fly out to left and and Rene Rivera to ground into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to prevent any runs from scoring.
Brian McCann, who caught Whitley last year and during Tuesday’s game, was impressed with his performance. “Whitley is a big league pitcher,” McCann said. “He did exactly what we expected him to do.” Whitely was also satisfied with how he performed. “My changeup was better,” Whitely said. “I had to battle but overall I felt good.
After Whitley was taken out, the bullpen came into the game and dominated once again. Chasen Shreve allowed an RBI triple to Logan Forsythe in the sixth for the Rays second and last run of the game. Shreve was taken out of the game after getting one out and then Esmil Rogers struck out the first three batters he faced.
After Shreve came out of the game, Rogers and Chris Martin combined to get 12 outs while only allowing two singles. To end the eighth inning, Rogers struck out Beckham on a nasty slider on the inside corner.
With Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller having the night off, Martin recorded his first save in his first opportunity. He admitted to being nervous after the game, but was able to end the game on an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout after a single by Steven Souza Jr.
McCann was the hero on offense since his three RBIs would have won the game. In the first inning his double to right scored Mark Teixiera and his double to center scored Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.
There was some news that the Yankees didn’t want as Masahiro Tanaka, who was on track to get the start on Wednesday, was placed on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right wrist and a mild right forearm strain. He will not be back for at least one month and Brian Cashman said that he will not throw for 7-10 days.
He had pitched very well this season as he had a 3.22 ERA in four starts with 24 strikeouts and seven walks. This was very surprising because Tuesday was the first time that he had pain in his wrist.
Whitley will take his spot in the rotation for now. In his first seven starts last season, Whitley had 2.56 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, which is encouraging as he could be making four or five starts.