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  • Writer's pictureEthan Semendinger

About Last Night: NYY 2, TBR 1

By Ethan Semendinger

July 11th, 2024

***

I was pessimistic all game, and the Rays had a lot of good chances, but the Yankees prevailed to (finally) win another game.

 

Quick Stats -

  • Winning Pitcher: Tim Hill (3-0, 4.72 ERA)

  • Losing Pitcher: Zach Eflin (5-6, 3.99 ERA)

  • Save: Clay Holmes (20)

  • Home Runs (New York): None

  • Home Runs (Tampa Bay): None

---

Big Story - There are two "stories" I'm going to address ahead of this game summary, and none of them are going to be about the teams recent struggles. You know they're struggling, I know they're struggling, so be it. Neither you, nor I, want to harp on it today. So, lets talk about a few other things.


Story One: The Yankees signed Tim Mayza to an MiLB deal

Tim Mayza was an amazing reliever last year for the Blue Jays (1.52 ERA/284 ERA+ over 53.1 innings). This year, he has been atrocious (8.03 ERA/51 ERA+ over 24.2 innings). Considering he had low 3.00 ERA in 2021 and 2022 over a combined 101.2 innings, it is clear that last year was a good fluke, and we can hope this year has been a bad fluke.


On a minor-league deal, we can hope that Matt Blake can find what's gone wrong for Mayza this year, fix it, and give the Yankees another good arm for a very weak bullpen.


Story Two: Giancarlo Stanton back soon after the ASG; with no MiLB Rehab

This is a mistake waiting to happen. Let's say "soon" after the All-Star Game means after the Yankees first two series (a 3-game homestand against the Rays and a 2-game homestand against the Mets), that puts his return on July 26th. That means Stanton would have gone over a month without playing.


Stanton is a very hot or cold hitter. And, while he's been relatively good this year compared to the rest of this team (his 119 OPS+ is 3rd best on the team), it is also his 4th worst season by OPS+ ever. I can't imagine he comes back anything but cold after a month off, especially with no rehab. I just hope I'm wrong.


Anyway, the Yankees decided to change things up in the line-up again last night, by slotting in Alex Verdugo at lead-off and moving Ben Rice to the clean-up spot.


Here was the line-up for the middle game of the three-game series against the Rays:

---

Player of the Game -

  • Trent Grisham: 1-3, Double, 2 RBI's, 1 K, GREAT CF Defense

Notable Performances -

  • Marcus Stroman: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K's

  • Tim Hill: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K's

  • Luke Weaver: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB's, 1 K

  • Clay Holmes: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB's, 2 K's

  • Juan Soto: 2-4, K

  • Gleyber Torres: 1-3, Run, BB

Better to Forget -

  • Alex Verdugo: 0-4

  • Ben Rice: 0-4, 3 K's

  • Jose Trevino: 0-3

---

The Game - I'm not of the belief that one win can change the direction of any team. As the old saying goes: Every team will win 54 games and every team will lose 54 games, what matters is the 54 games in between. Last night's win was the 2nd "extra" win for the Yankees this season (now at 56), and they still have another 16 losses "to give" (they only have 38).


The problem is that those losses have been accumulating much quicker than the wins. In their last ten games (including last night) the Yankees are 3-7. In their last twenty games, the Yankees are 6-14. They will get wins...just at a much slower rate than they will accumulate losses.


Last night, the Yankees did something they have struggled with mightily: They didn't allow a home run. In their last 20 games, the Yankees have allowed the other team to hit a home run in 18 of them. That includes all 14 losses, and all but 2 of their wins (including last night) during this down streak. They've allowed 39 home runs to hitting just 24. That's a 316 home run per season rate allowed, and a 194 home run per season rate hit. (The record for team home runs is 307 in a season.)


Luckily, though, for one day today, we can celebrate in one of those uncommon wins.


The Yankees got on the board first last night with Trent Grisham scoring Anthony Volpe on a near-home run, turned double in the 2nd inning. They followed it up with a sacrifice fly from Trent Grisham in the 4th, scoring Gleyber Torres (who walked and advanced to third on a throwing error by Yandy Diaz on a potential 3-6-3 double play). The Yankees offense didn't do much outside of their 2 times scoring.


In between this, Trent Grisham saved the Yankees in the bottom of the 3rd, with 2 outs and the bases loaded, by making a crucial catch deep in center field to end the inning.


Unfortunately, Grisham couldn't save them from Marcus Stroman's minor implosion in the 5th inning: allowing back-to-back singles, an RBI ground-out, another single and a walk to load the bases with one out. Luckily, a strikeout and line-drive right to Juan Soto ended the threat. Yankees up 2-1.


The Rays challenged again in the 6th with back-to-back singles, but a strikeout and double-play ended that threat. And then they challenged again in the 7th after back-to-back 1-out walks, but a flyout and strikeout ended that threat. And then they challenged again in the 8th with two runners on and 2 outs, but Trent Grisham made another great catch to end the inning and save 2 runs from scoring (again).


The 9th inning went quick on both sides of the ball, the Yankees offense grounding into a double-play and the Yankees pitching getting three straight outs.


All-in-all, a win is a win. But, this was a win that was very close to becoming a loss. The Rays were threatening in the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, but were unable to get anything going, thanks to good defense and some solid relief pitching (for the first time in a long time).


Tonight will be a very interesting match-up.


Let's go Yankees!

---

Next Up - Tonight, the Yankees (56-38) will finish their three-game road series against the Tampa Bay Rays (45-47). The Yankees will send out Nestor Cortes (4-7, 3.41 ERA) to face off against Shane Baz (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Let's see if the Yankees can win their first series in a month! (Since taking 3 of 4 against the Kansas City Royals between June 10th-13th.)


37 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jul 11

I'm thinkin' that mebbe Rice should move back to lead-off, ya know?

Like
fuster
Jul 11
Replying to

Holy Seriousness, Malchman!!!!



Like

lenjack
Jul 11
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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jul 11
Replying to

The Red Sox (with Cora) cheated in a game against the Yankees as well. His Red Sox used its video replay monitor to decode opponents’ signs during the 2018 regular season, a violation of Major League regulations. So the Red Sox are also guilty, as former Red Sox, like Alex Verdugo (who was not a part of the cheating) come to the Yankees.


Marwin Gonzalez played on that 2017 Astros team AND on the Red Sox, yet he was welcomed by fans to the Yankees anyway when he first joined, but he didn't have the fans support for long, not because he was on the cheating Astros team or that he was on the Red Sox, but only because he…


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etbkarate
Jul 11

I agree. Blake came over from the Carl Willis school of coaching, which is pretty darn good, IMO. But you are right, I don't hear them praising him too often either. We're on same page, at the end of day, it is a roster construction problem once again, which is a little surprising to me because if the GM does anything better than his contemporaries, he seems to find the bullpen diamonds in the rough pretty well. But I try to keep in mind that since end of May, those guys are gassed. Just last night Stroman goes 4.1 innings, so they needed 4 and 2/3 out of the bullpen. That is unsustainable.

Like

etbkarate
Jul 11

You can't expect much over the long haul if your starters go 4.1 innings. With only 84 pitches thrown, I can't imagine he was tired. Any reports on an injury to Mr. Stroman??

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sfs1944
Jul 11

Ethan agree with you on Stanton. He needs to get his timing back and you do that by facing live pitching who changes speed and location not pitching machines which throw at the same speed and location

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Jul 11
Replying to

I think with ALL hitters coming back from injury, they should play AAA rehab games and ONLY come back to the big club when they have found their TIMING at the AAA level and as a Major League hitter, when they DOMINATE AAA pitchers, which is what a Major League hitter SHOULD do, ONLY THEN, should they return to the big league lineup. Any sooner will hurt the big league club's offense a lot more than it will help it. Keep the rehabbing player at AAA as LONG AS IT TAKES until they become a dominant hitter (or pitcher) at the AAA level, which proves they are ready to help the big club again. NO SOONER.

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