About Last Night: Rays 4 - Yankees 2
By Cary Greene
May 30, 2022
● Winning Pitcher: Shane McClanahan 6 IP / 7 H, 1 ER / 7K, 0BB / 92-68 PC-ST (5-2)
● Losing Pitcher: Luis Severino 6.1 IP/ 2 H, 4 ER / 2 BB, 8 K / 103-64 PC-ST (3-1)
● Yankee Home Runs: Gleyber Torres (1-Run HR, second-inning, 101.1 mph, 394’ to LF)
○ Gleyber Torres went 3-4 yesterday and he now has 8 Home Runs on the Season. His average is now up to .243 and his OPS is now .749 - he’s presently carrying the team offensively, along with Aaron Judge.
○ Joey Gallo went 0-4 and is now batting an anemic .167 on the season
After winning the first two games of the series, the Yankees dropped the Saturday matchup 3 to 1, coming apart in the late innings and wasting a very good start from staff co-ace Gerrit Cole. Yesterday at the Trop, it was another very tight affair pitting the Yankees Luis Severino against the Rays top healthy pitcher, Shane McClanahan.
The story of the game was the Yankees' continued seventh inning jinx, which ruined a pretty well played game and a very good outing by Luis Severino.
Gleyber Torres got the Yankees on the board in the second inning with a 101.1 mph, 394 blast to left field, continuing his hot streak of late in the process.
Ji-Man Choi answered for the Rays in the bottom of the second with a home run of his own; it was a 96 mph, 367 foot shot near the left field line. Then, in the fifth-inning, Taylor Walls went deep off Severino, who threw a fastball up and in, cranking a no-doubter that traveled 100.4 mph and sailed 371 to right field. The Rays then led 2-1.
The Rays tacked on two more runs in the 7th when Ron Marinaccio relieved Severino and promptly walked Taylor Walls to load the bases. Then he walked Harold Ramirez and hit Mike Zunino to allow two runs to give the Rays a commanding 4-1 lead.
The Yankees have been a very resilient team this season and they proceeded to continue to fight and in the top of the eighth-inning, Aaron Judge launched a 107.4 mph solo-shot 420 feet to deep center field, but the Rays escaped further trouble thanks to a fine defensive play by Taylor Walls at second base - which robbed Aaron Hicks of what seemed to be a 1-run single.
Player of the Game
Rays rookie Taylor Walls stole the show yesterday, both with his resounding home run off of Luis Severino and also, his sparkling defensive play highlighted above.
● Luis Severino pitched very well in defeat and if it wasn’t for Ron Marinaccio blowing the game, we might have been looking at extra innings after the Judge home run in the 8th.
● Aaron Judge went 2-4 and is now batting .309 and sporting a gaudy 1.045 OPS. As our own fuster says, “Just Pay the Man!”
● Clarke Schmidt quietly continues to sparkle, pitching yet another scoreless inning and lowering his ERA to a 0.64 - hard to believe the Yankees had demoted Schmidt recently.
Better to Forget
● Joey Gallo went 0-4, batting in the ninth-spot in the Yankee order.
● Ron Marinaccio had a very unimpressive 16-pitch outing as he struggled to find the strike zone - throwing only 6 strikes (38%). That’s not going to cut it if his plan is to claim a spot in the Yankee bullpen.
● That J.P. Feyereisen was once a Yankee and that Brian Cashman literally gave him away to the Brewers in 2019 - how nice would it be to have him in the back of the bullpen right now to compliment Clay Holmes?
My Take - It was a very enjoyable baseball game to watch. The Yankees absolutely had some chances against an increasingly crafty Shane McClanahan, but the Yankees stranded 7 runners yesterday afternoon in Tampa and in a tightly played game against a stingy team like the Rays, that came back to hurt the Bombers. Ultimately, it was a case of the seventh inning jinx continuing and other than Ron Marinaccio’s abysmal relief outing, this game could have easily gone into extra innings.
Winding up splitting a series after winning the first two games is a disappointing outcome but the pressure isn’t on the Yankees right now, so splitting is an acceptable outcome.
Aaron Boone is struggling to piece together a bridge to the back end of the bullpen and one has to wonder if Clarke Schmidt has suddenly become an extremely important reliever for the Yankees. It appears Schmidt, Peralta, and Holmes are the high-leverage players right now in the bullpen but getting to them is proving to be a big challenge.
Lucas Luetge didn’t look very good on Saturday and today it was Ron Marinaccio’s turn to stink up the joint.
Big-picture, 30,000 feet, is that the Yankees are having a good season and it does feel like either Aaron Boone will need to be more willing to turn to certain relievers like the newly added Manny Bañuelos and David McKay. Other than that, if the team can hold the fort while key players trickle back onto the roster, the team is basically in good shape.
It feels like a virtual certainty that Brian Cashman may look to bolster the team with a few deadline deals this year and one has to wonder if he might look for relief pitching and perhaps help in the outfield. I’m very much in favor of bringing up Ender Inciarte and Estevan Florial but to do that, it may mean parting ways with Joey Gallo. Hopefully Gallo cracks out of his ridiculous funk, but the way things are presently looking, he may be the odd man out. The Yankees could get faster with Inciarte and that gives the team a possible leadoff hitter. Granted, Inciarte is out of options but bringing him up might kick start the lineup.
Yesterday in Tampa was an example of a game where the Yankees needed to eke out a few runs. They couldn’t do it and unfortunately, former Yankee prospect J.P. Feyereisen has turned into Rollie Fingers with the Rays. Cashman giving him away to the Brewers and then giving Garrett Whitlock away to the Red Sox has really come back to bite the Yankees. Right now, and for the Yankees, it’s about finding “bridge-relievers” who can step up and make it easier for the Yankees to get the game to their highest leverage pitchers. I keep imagining how ridiculously good the Yankee bullpen would be right now with both of them in it.
That said, it may be time for Clarke Schmidt, Manny Bañuelos, David McKay and very possibly, J.P. Sears or other Yankee pitching prospects to finally impact the team in a meaningful way, nailing down a few bullpen spots permanently. This stretch of the season the Yankees find themselves in is about finding out about themselves. Once they understand what they actually have, they may be better equipped to consider a few trades at the deadline.
Next Up -
It’s a new Marvel Movie, “No Rest for the Weary,” Starring Thor and Gumby! The Yankees do get a hugely needed day off tomorrow, before returning to the Stadium to host the Angels in a three-game, winner take all set. Noah “Thor” Syndergaard (4-2, 3.08 ERA, 27 K’s) opposes the Yankees Jordan “Gumby” Montgomery (0-1, 3.30 ERA, 37 K’s). Game time is 7:05 in the Bronx, temperatures will be 90 degrees, and skies will be partly cloudy. Should be a beautiful evening for baseball!