There is literally nothing that went in the Yankees’ favor in this game. The hitting had another less-than-stellar game, mustering just two runs, with one coming when the game was already out of reach. Gerrit Cole had one of his worst outings, allowing five runs in just five innings pitched. The bullpen didn’t exactly shine once Cole left the game either.
Both of those facets would’ve been enough on their own for a loss, but it was also a pretty brutal game for the umpiring crew. Several notable strike calls and a controversial call on a grounder arguably cost the Yankees several runs and made an already-not-great game way worse. All of that chipped in together to doom the Yankees to a 9-2 loss to the Rays, missing out on a chance of taking the series over Tampa Bay.
The action of the game didn’t really begin until the bottom of the third. With one out in the inning, Brett Gardner did the damage with a solo shot off Ryan Yarbrough. Not only did it get the Yankees on the board, but it got Gardner on the board in the 2021 home run tally.
However, the Rays struck back with two runs off Cole in the fourth. Two batters after Brandon Lowe drew a lead-off walk, the chief Yankees pain struck again. Austin Meadows took Cole deep for a two-run homer, putting Tampa Bay in front.
In the fourth, the Yankees had a potentially rally partly ruined by some terrible strike calls in a Clint Frazier at bat. It didn’t take long for an even costlier call to go against the Yankees.
With one on and one out in the top of the fifth, Kevin Kiermaier hit a grounder down the first base line. DJ LeMahieu fielded it and missed on a tag, which was the only play to be made. However, Kiermaier extremely definitely went out of the baseline in order avoid the tag. It was not called, so that put two on with one out.
Randy Arozarena striking out in the next at bat should’ve ended the inning, but instead was just out number two. Singles by Lowe and Yandy Díaz then scored another three runs in an inning that should’ve been over. Cole wouldn’t come back out for the sixth. He definitely wasn’t as sharp as he normally is, but it’s hard to not be bitter about how his outing ended.
Nick Nelson replaced him and threw a scoreless sixth inning, but fell apart in the seventh. He walked two and allowed three hits as the Rays added four more runs, pretty much taking the game out of reach. While removing Nelson from the game, Aaron Boone finally got himself thrown out of the game after all the mess with the strike zone and the basepath call.
Miguel Andújar got a run back for the Yankees in the seventh when he hit a solo homer. That was the extent of the action after the top of the seventh. The Yankees always had a slim chance of a comeback down seven runs, but nothing resembling one ever started anyway. Ryan Yarbrough went the distance, throwing a complete game and allowing just two runs on six hits. He was the first Rays starter allowed to go all nine in over five years.
Next up for the Yankees is the Red Sox, against whom the games are always very normal and nothing ever weird or annoying happens. First pitch will be 7:05pm tomorrow with the just-announced Michael King facing off against former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi.