The Yankees swept the Rays in today’s doubleheader, and now lead the AL East by eight games. We don’t need to employ too much nuance here, or really dig for a deeper meaning; this was a strong series for the Yankees, one that leaves them in a commanding position in the division. They entered this series knowing it was a golden opportunity to put their closest rivals in a brutal hole, and they took advantage. If it weren’t for a wild loss in the first game of this series, they easily could have swept the four-game set. In any event, this has been a successful and satisfying week of baseball in the Bronx.
Winner of the Game
This wasn’t exactly a win filled with resounding performances, but the Yankees bullpen did do its job today. Chad Green worked into and out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to lead off the game, and Nestor Cortes Jr. followed with an uneven but still effective 3.1-inning, one-run outing. Luis Cessa shut out the Rays for 3.1 innings, and Adam Ottavino brought home with 1.1 shutout innings. The relief corps stepped up when pressed into duty by rain.
Also, it should be noted that Luke Voit might have gotten off the schneid with a shot out to center:
Hop to it. pic.twitter.com/nK78uuZnd3— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 19, 2019
He also drew a walk in his best game in a while. Good to the see the big man home-run hop once again.
Loser of the Game
No hitter failed to get on base at least once, and every pitcher that made it into the game ultimately did fine work. So, the biggest losers might have been all of us that thought there could be a few more fireworks once Aaron Boone returned to the dugout and had to deal with the same crew that ejected him for an instantly iconic tirade in game one of this doubleheader.