Yankees got clear reminder these Rays won’t go away easy
“This was no boat accident.”
— Hooper, “Jaws”
Nope, this was not a defeat to shrug off as an aberration, to chalk it as much as a kind of days.
Certain, the Yankees stay the American League leaders and favorites even after their 1-0 loss to the Rays on Friday night time at Tropicana Discipline. But they’ve a bona fide challenger to maintain them trustworthy within the type of that low-budget group down in Tampa Bay. This season sequence opener served as a sobering reminder of that actuality, not that the Yankees wanted it.
“We had fun celebrating. I imply beating the Yankees, man, it’s a great crew. It’s a troublesome crew to beat,” mentioned Blake Snell, who began and threw the primary three innings. “So it was positively proud of us having the ability to get that victory and having the ability to have a good time after is all the time a great signal.”
“That was enormous. We positively wanted this W,” mentioned Rays reliever Chaz Roe, the previous Yankee, who picked up the win. “Hopefully we get this momentum going to [Saturday] and this doubleheader and handle enterprise.”
A Rays sweep via the weekend would tie up the 2 groups, and if that’s not going, neither is it that the Yankees run away from their nemesis, it doesn’t matter what preceded this sequence.
The Rays entered the sport 5-7 at this decreased season’s 20 p.c mark, a disappointment after taking the Astros to 5 video games in final yr’s AL Division Collection and starting the season as many forecasters’ choice for this division crown. Therefore the urgency to get going and present the Yankees and themselves what they might do.
They haven’t hit a lot this season and didn’t get any higher on Friday, as Masahiro Tanaka’s 5 robust innings (no runs, one hit, 5 strikeouts, no walks) gave the Yankees cause to smile regardless of the ultimate end result. The Rays nonetheless prevailed as a result of their arms shut down the Yankees’ scary lineup and executed flawlessly and impressively. The profitable run got here on Michael Perez’s eighth-inning sacrifice fly off Adam Ottavino, the house crew capitalizing on a pair of walks and a wild pitch, after Perez fell to the bottom upon fouling a ball off his left knee.
As Rays supervisor Kevin Money mentioned, when you had instructed him previous to the sport that his crew would document two hits and nonetheless decide up a win towards the Yankees’ potent lineup, “I’d have referred to as you a liar.”
Truthfully sufficient, although, the 2018 AL Cy Younger Award winner and southpaw Snell, nonetheless increase his endurance, kicked issues off with three hitless innings (and two walks), succeeding although, as Money put it, “They loaded up a bunch of righties. They loaded up a bunch of actually, actually good righties. Snell struck out Aaron Choose in each of their two matchups, and Choose now has a single and 6 walks in 22 plate appearances versus Snell, placing out 10 occasions.
“I’m not saying nothing trigger I do know if he goes deep, I don’t need nothing in return,” Snell mentioned of Choose. “He’s an incredible hitter. I’ve confronted him loads and it’s been going my manner. He’s on a tear. Having an incredible season.”
Of the 5 guys who relieved Snell, solely Diego Castillo required a bailout, placing males on first and second to begin the seventh, and Nick Anderson picked him up, after loading the bases, by placing out Gary Sanchez on three pitches. Shortstop Willy Adames halted an eighth-inning rally when he caught Mike Tauchman making an attempt to advance from second to 3rd on DJ LeMahieu’s bouncer to the left facet. In all, the Rays placed on a grasp class in pitching and elementary baseball.
The Yankees usually are not the type of group that may take an opponent as a right, would name a good loss an accident. It’s not like they wanted to listen to a message from the Rays. They obtained one anyway.
“It was distant but it surely was rowdy, it was rowdy. No, I’m simply taking part in,” Snell mentioned, when requested of the postgame scene. The Rays will simply play during. The Yankees gained’t be capable to ignore them.