There are quite a few baseball axioms that become entrenched in your brain from watching the game for a couple decades. They don’t quite fall under the umbrella of “unwritten rules” because they have nothing to do with sportsmanship or whatever; just smart baseball. Broadcasters love to repeat them.
- Don’t make the first or last out at third base.
- Don’t try to steal when it’s late and you’re losing by more than a few runs.
- Don’t try to advance to third base on a groundball hit to the left side.
Those are just a few of many. Might I suggest a couple even more obvious additions?
- Don’t score zero runs.
- Don’t give up double-digit runs.
That’s real brain baseball right there, I know. But the travel squad that the Yankees sent to Disney World to take on the Rays in Orlando on Tuesday afternoon violated both of these rules and got absolutely pummeled, 12-0. Whoops!
It honestly wasn’t that bad for most of the matinee. Sure, Tampa Bay had the lead thanks to a two-run homer by left fielder Luke Raley in the bottom of the first, but the score stayed 2-0 through six innings. Yankees starter Sean Boyle (likely ticketed for Triple-A) did a nice job of working around the bomb over three frames, particularly in the second when he struck out the side with six consecutive strikes to end it.
Long-shot bullpen candidate Matt Krook also did yeoman’s work, allowing just a single and a walk with three strikeouts in two shutout innings of his own. Veteran southpaw Nick Ramirez put up a zero during the sixth, too.
The problem child was, regrettably, Ramirez’s fellow non-roster invitee, Tyler Danish. Thankfully, MLB did not broadcast the game, but let the play-by-play reveal the damage:
Yanks reliever Tyler Danish today:— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) February 28, 2023
Basabe 2-run 1B
Peters 2-run 1B
Thinking about his Opening Day roster chances like pic.twitter.com/Xq3WiRiipR
Danish faced six batters. All of them ended up scoring as the game went from 2-0 to 8-0 in a hurry. Hopefully, he at least got to ride on Space Mountain afterward to alleviate his woes.
Of course, that goose egg on the Yankees’ side of the scoreboard had nothing to do with Danish and deserves some tomatoes as well. Rays regular Jeffrey Springs made mincemeat of the lineup during his perfect two-inning tune-up, striking out three. Yonny Chirinos, Kyle Crick, and Josh Roberson rolled through the offense with ease as well; New York only had singles from Wilmer Difo and Jose Trevino to show for it. A Rays error sparked an oh-so-brief rally in the fifth that was quickly extinguished on a Difo strikeout.
New York’s one great chance to score came in the sixth with Trevor Kelley on the bump for Tampa and the score still 2-0. With one down, Oswald Peraza singled down the third-base line. Rafael Ortega passed the baton with a walk, as did Andres Chaparro after Trevino went down on strikes. Billy McKinney jumped ahead 3-0 and Kelley was a ball away from walking in a run, but he hung tough and got a called strike before retiring McKinney on a popup. Inning over, rally terminated, and before long, minor game of interest rendered irrelevant.
The Rays made the final score quite silly by piling on converted infielder Kaleb Cowart and 2021 14th-round draft pick Sean Hermann. At the very least, they did get outs, so they have that on Danish anyway. Maybe all they’ll need is a visit to the Teacup Ride to pick them up.
Peraza can feel OK about registering a hit on this forgettable day. The same cannot be said for Gleyber Torres, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a fielding error in the third on a ball that skipped off his glove. Trevino, Difo, Everson Pereira, and Matt Pita were the only Yankees outside of Peraza to get a hit and none went for extra bases. Top 2022 draft pick Spencer Jones went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts in a brief spring road game cameo.
The beautiful thing about all this though is that it doesn’t count for anything at all. In fact, since it wasn’t televised, I’m going to deny that it ever happened! The radio broadcast was just a bit of Orson Welles-inspired fiction. So there!
Next up, the Yankees will return home (and to the actual airwaves) tomorrow afternoon to host the Nationals at GMS Field in Tampa. Domingo Germán will make his first start of the spring in his bid to win the No. 5 rotation spot, and he’ll face Washington right-hander Cory Abbott. First pitch will be at 1:05pm ET and you can catch it on either YES or ESPN if you’re out of market.