Sometimes the score just tells you everything you need to know about how a team is playing right now. The Yankees have lost more frustrating, close games as part of their slip than blowouts, but they picked a great time to get their ass kicked by the ball club that now has 10 games of their AL East lead in the span of a month. scaled down – one where the Yankees have been? the worst team in the American League. The Yankees lost 9-0 in a game that was technically close to seven, but not quite true.
The usual suspects of this horrible slip were all there. For the sixth time since early August, the Yankees lineup was shut out, runners stranded and looking lifeless. The defense made some serious mistakes, with Josh Donaldson this time taking Public Enemy No. 1 played with two errors leading to the Rays’ first run. The starting pitching went well; the score was 3-0 at the start of the eighth before the floodgates opened. Combined, it was an all-too-familiar recipe for disaster that forced fans of the 2022 Yankees for almost the entire second half.
I want to end the synopsis almost there, because getting too close to this mess is like picking up a rock that has just crushed a cockroach and inspecting the bottom. But I’ll do my best and still keep it relatively short, because this Yankees team doesn’t play like it deserves every fan’s headroom at all.
Starting with the positives, Domingo Germán was just doing his job again, just like he did for most of August. For six innings, he held off the Rays’ offense by allowing one run on five hits, getting out of trouble a few times. The one run couldn’t really be credited to him, as it was the result of an error by Donaldson in the fourth, which was immediately followed by a second error (which preceded a fine relay where Oswaldo Cabrera threw out a runner at home).
However, Cabrera’s exploits could not fully preserve the zero. David Peralta singled in a run to give Tampa the lead. The Rays could have stopped there and won since the Yankees’ attack is such a joke these days, but they didn’t. Just like Germán did in Oakland last week, he came back on the mound for seventh with a low pitch count, but after walking Isaac Paredes with one out, Tampa delivered the crushing blow on a two-run homer by Christian Bethancourt to make it 3-0.
The Yankees in the first half would hardly be intimidated by a late 3-0 deficit, but those guys are a thing of the past. The Yankees in the second half played like they never prayed against Rays starter Jeffrey Springs. Oh, they put some guys on the bases, but they never scored; New York was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and given how the team has played lately, only the most optimistic fans would have been hopeful in those spots. Check out these highlights:
- A completely lost Donaldson called for strikes to end the first with two men on
- Two-on, one-out rally was killed in the third when Andrew Benintendi hit a “pop” in his wrist, felt numb and had to leave halfway through the at bat*; Cabrera pinch hit and pop up, while the collapsing Giancarlo Stanton lashed out
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa never progresses after rare double to start in fifth
- IKF returns the stranding favor in the sixth by grounding out with runners on first and second
*Benintendi’s x-rays were: negative, but he’s going for an MRI tomorrow. While the loss of an outfielder who has roughly hit the league average since coming over from Kansas City shouldn’t be crushing, it certainly feels that way for the 2022 Yankees.
The Yankees never got a player in scoring position again after that. The lineup is just a nightmare in the worst ways.
In the eighth, the Rays made a joke when they beat up Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda. Weisset allowed two normal hits and then one gift on a Yu Chang topper behind the mound which he threw away. Chang got an infield-hit and Weisset committed the Yankees’ third error of the night to make it 5-0. That heralded a comically bad performance by the worst pitcher on the roster, Banda, who walked three batters – including two with the bases loaded – while giving up two basehits and a hit batter.
By the time the dust settled, it was 9-0, the Rays had narrowed AL East’s lead to just five games, and manager Aaron Boone remained furious with his team’s results in the postgame.
Aaron Boone: “I am in charge of this team. I know better than anyone what we are going through now. […] I think the effort is there. I think the concern is there. But we have set a much better standard in that room that we have to live up to.”
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) September 3, 2022
The words are nice and all, but maybe the rookie top prospect called up yesterday should have started instead of sitting on the bench to two outs in the ninth inning of a blowout! No, Oswald Peraza didn’t get a tense moment at all before his MLB debut as he struck to end this farce. Poor guy.
The Yankees and Rays will meet again tomorrow night at the Trop, with Clarke Schmidt seeking redemption from an ugly return to rotation last Sunday in Oakland. He takes on Corey Kluber with his former teammate’s first pitch at 6:10 p.m. ET. Will Peraza really take off this time? Who knows!!!