At least the Yankees made it interesting. They brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, and Aaron Judge almost delivered, driving a ball to the edge of the warning track. Maybe O’Neill theory will carry over into tomorrow’s game.
The Bombers dropped the second half of the doubleheader by a score of 5-3. Since it’s Saturday, and we just sat through two games, let’s recap this bullet-point style.
- Death by Walks - I don’t think it’s fair to say the Yankees gave this game away, because the Rays have a great team. Issuing nine (NINE!) walks in a seven-inning contest, however, doesn’t set you up for any kind of success. Mike King, the Yankees’ opener, got into trouble early in the first inning, walking three consecutive batters with a runner on and two outs. He ended his day giving up free passes, and allowing three runs in 3.2 innings of work. Luis Avilán continued that trend, allowing two walks and a single in the bottom of the fourth. The southpaw didn’t get a run charged to his name, but he let two inherited runners score. You just can’t have a chance to be competitive when you put that many runners on base.
- Abreu’s Arrival - A bright side in game two’s clunker? Albert Abreu made his major-league debut. The 24-year-old allowed two outs in 1.1. innings of work, striking out and walking a pair of batters each. Abreu, the 29th man in today’s doubleheader, will head back to the alternate site, but he flashed potential, particularly with his high-velocity fastball. Per Baseball Savant, the right-hander averaged 95.3 mph and reached 98.
- Lookout! - The Rays had a clear strategy, and it was to throw inside to the Yankees’ right-handed batters. DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela both got brushed off the plate, to name a few, and that drew the ire of the Yankees’ dugout. They chirped at the Rays’ pitcher, Andrew Kittredge, and after the inning. Aaron Boone ran out to complain, and that led umpire Carapazza to bounce Boone from the game.
- Leftovers - Mike Ford pinch-hit for Giancarlo Stanton in the top of the sixth inning certainly sounds some alarm bells. Stanton walked in the fourth inning, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Meredith Marakovits says it’s a tight left hamstring. According to Mike Simon, Boone’s ejection, the tenth of his career, moves him to number nine on the Yankees’ all-time manager ejection list. And, hey, how about Erik Kratz! At 40 years old, he’s the team’s oldest catcher since Deacon McGuire, back when the Yankees were the Highlanders. Kratz went 1-for-3 with a walk.
The Yankees wrap up this series with the Rays tomorrow afternoon. James Paxton is scheduled to start against Charlie Morton, with first pitch set for 1:10 PM. Here’s today’s box score, and the win-probability chart is below.