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Yankees 1, Rays 6: A predictable game highlighted by a benches-clearing argument

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Brian Blanco

Blame this one on the offense (of course) and some sloppy infield defense. Everything you've come to expect from the Yankees was on full display tonight. Great starting pitching, zero run support, and a lot of stupidity in the field. The only difference this time around was that the Yankees were actually able to score early. The unfortunate part was that it was just once, because of course.

In the top of the second, our hero Chris Young doubled and Ichiro Suzuki then knocked him in with a hit of his own to make it 1–0. The Yankees would challenge a few times over the course of the game, but they never got the offensive ball rolling. Were you surprised? In the third, the Yankees had two on and no outs when Brendan Ryan walked and Jacoby Ellsbury singled, but that went nowhere. They did the same in the fifth when Francisco Cervelli and Brendan Ryan collected back-to-back hits, but still nothing. Cervelli singled again in the seventh and was replaced by Antoan Richardson, who proceeded to steal second, but they managed to strand him there.

Michael Pineda put in another good effort on the mound. He allowed one earned run on four hits and a walk over 5.1 innings and still got the loss, since the Yankees couldn't do anything else right. In the fifth inning, Kevin Kiermaier reached on a Brendan Ryan error before Pineda surrendered his first walk since forever. It was starting to look like they could get out of the inning, but a ball hit to first baseman Brian McCann ended poorly. He flipped the ball to Pineda as the pitcher tried to cover the bag, but the ball got away and Kiermaier went all the way around to tie the game.

This team's terrible luck continued in the next inning when Nick Franklin doubled and moved over to third on a ground ball. Yunel Escobar laid down a dribbling bunt in front of home plate and Franklin went for home. For some reason, Cervelli decided to go after the ball, but the problem was that by the time he got to it, there was no chance to get back and stop the run from scoring or to even get any out at all. Thankfully, the Yankees got out of the inning after a weird accidental bunt by Kiermaier resulted in a very clutch double play.

If this wasn't going poorly enough for the Yankees, the bullpen then assisted in blowing it all up. Esmil Rogers could only get one out in the seventh before allowing a walk and two singles to add to the Rays' lead. Rich Hill then came in and surrendered a single to James Loney when a total of five Yankee fielders could not catch a shallow fly ball. With the bases loaded, Hill allowed a single to Franklin to make it a 4–1 game. David Phelps came into the game and proceeded to give up a long fly ball to center that Ellsbury managed to make a tremendous diving catch on. Unfortunately, it didn't do much good as the Rays had plenty of time to score two runs on the play.

Things managed to get a little more interesting when Derek Jeter was hit in the hand in the eighth inning, causing the umpires to warn both benches. Joe Girardi didn't take too kindly to this and went into one of his tirades before getting tossed. Then it escalated in the next half-inning when Phelps threw at Kiermaier and was immediately ejected. At that point, both benches cleared and members from both teams were seen yelling at the other. Notably, Sean Rodriguez and Cervelli needing to be held back by their teammates. Since both benches were warned when Phelps got ejected, the acting manager at this point, Tony Pena, was also ejected, so Rob Thomson ended up managing this game. Yes, for real. I'm not making this up.

Things almost happened in the ninth when Chase Headley singled and John Ryan Murphy took a walk, but with two outs already made, the Yankees didn't put up much of a fight. So the Yankees managed just four base runners after the fifth inning and it turns out that you can't win ballgames like that. I'm bummed for Michael Pineda, but then again I'm bummed about the entire Yankees team at this point. Oh well, at least Jeter got a kayak.