Like so many games recently, the starting pitcher kept the Yankees in the game, but the offense blew it. Despite yesterday's off day, they couldn't even get a run on the board. Tonight's loss moved the Rays to just one game behind the Yankees. They're really going to need to pull it together immediately if they have any hopes of making the playoffs.
The game didn't get off to the best start, as Brandon McCarthy gave up back-to-back singles, and a walk to load the bases. Evan Longoria and James Loney both grounded into force outs to score the first two runs of the game. McCarthy was able to settle down after that, and didn't allow another earned run. He left the game in the seventh inning, having given up 7 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7. He definitely didn't deserve the loss.
Two unearned runs also scored in the seventh inning, after Logan Forsythe reached on a ground ball to Chase Headley. Headley stopped it, but it rolled away and he was charged with an error. Yunel Escobar bunted to move Forsythe over to second, and the Rays third run came on an RBI single hit by Curt Casali. With one out, Kevin Kiermaier and Desmond Jennings both singled to load the bases. Esmil Rogers came in to relieve McCarthy at this point, and Ben Zobrist grounded into a force out to score the fourth run. The Rays tacked on another run in the 8th inning, a solo shot by James Loney, because why not?
In five of tonight's innings, the Yankees' leadoff hitter singled. Two times for Mark Teixeira, and once for Derek Jeter, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. None of them made it home. Things looked promising in the eighth inning, when the Yankees loaded the bases with just one out. Then Jacoby Ellsbury and Tex both struck out to end the inning. Doesn't feel good to be shutout by a team that was 18 games below .500.
The Yankees really need to win the series to avoid falling behind the Rays. They'll get another chance tomorrow afternoon at 4:10 pm EST. Shane Greene and Drew Smyly are the probable starters.