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Rays 8, Yankees 6: Don't panic

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Andy Pettitte had his worst outing of the season Thursday night, and it resulted in an 8-6 loss to Tampa. Meaning the Rays swept the abbreviated two-game series against our Yankees.

The injury-riddled Yankees are five games behind the Rays now and 4-6 in their last 10 games. Are you panicked yet? Manager Joe Girardi is not.

"It's baseball," Girardi said. "You go through a lot of different things in the course of the year. You go through ups and downs. Sometimes you win games that you're not supposed to, and sometimes you lose games that you're not supposed to. It's a long season, and you can't make too much of a few days."

Mark Feinsand has several player quotes this morning basically repeating the same point -- don't draw conclusions from two days -- except that, yes, the Rays are good.

The New York Post's Larry Brooks, with a little help from A-Rod, puts it this way.

They were 18 innings in May, just 18 innings in May.

That's the Yankees' story, and they're sticking to it.

"We have to keep it in perspective," Alex Rodriguez said after the Yankees' second straight loss to Tampa Bay dropped the club five games behind the front-running (accent on the running) Rays. "We're on pace for another really good season, and we're going to do that.

"This is not the time to panic."

Look, there are 121 games to go. And look, the Yankees have the second-best record in the AL and third-best in the majors at 25-16, even after dropping three straight, four of their last five and eight of their last 12. And look, still, the Yankees were 6½ back last May 12, and things worked out reasonably well.

COMMENT OF THE GAME: Goes to "Long-Time Listener."