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  • Tim Kabel

About Last Night: The Yankees Beat the Rays 2-0

About Last Night: The Yankees Beat the Rays 2-0

By Tim Kabel

May 11, 2024

***

The Yankees returned to their winning ways last night by beating their division rival, the Tampa Bay Rays, 2-0. They combined the masterful pitching of Clarke Schmidt and the offense of Anthony Rizzo, who drove in both runs, to shut down the Rays. Except for the scare Clay Holmes gave everyone in the 9th inning, it was an efficient and masterful victory. I'd like to order about 60 more just like it. We can also add in some blowouts to make things interesting. Again, my concern with this team, or any team managed by Aaron Boone, is inconsistency. They won the first game. Now, they need to win the series. 

 

Quick Stats – 

 

·       The Yankees have the most wins of any American League team with 26.

 

·       Clarke Schmidt recorded 14 outs with three or fewer pitches, which helped him go deeper into the game. He pitched 6.2 innings for the first time this season.

 

·       Clarke Schmidt is now 4-1 with a 2.95 ERA this season.

 

·       Luke Weaver has now made eight consecutive scoreless relief appearances. 

 

·       Clay Holmes had not pitched in 5 days prior to last night.  He made up for it by throwing 34 pitches in the ninth inning to earn the save.

 

·       Prior to the game, the Yankees activated Nick Burdi off the IL and optioned Ron Marinaccio to Scranton. They kept Michael Tonkin over Marinaccio. That's surprising.

 

·       In 1934, Lou Gehrig led the Yankees to a 13-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. He tied a Major League record with four extra base hits, (two doubles and two home runs). He also drove in seven runs. The amazing thing is he did all this in only five innings of work because he was battling a cold.

 

Big Story – 

The Yankees are playing very well right now. That is fine and dandy but, as I have written ad infinitum over the past few years, consistency is not a hallmark of the Yankees during the Aaron Boone era. Consequently, they need to accumulate as many wins as they can while things are going well. Boone’s teams tend to be somewhat mercurial, so you never know when they could go into a tailspin. Remember in 2022, they were on pace to have one of the best seasons in Yankees’ history. Then they didn't. Right now, they are on a pace to win over 104 games. Will they? They could but, I wouldn't bet on it. They are just a couple of bubble gum bubbles and vacant stares away from a losing streak. Let's keep the winning going as long as we can, shall we?

 

Player of the Game – 

Clarke Schmidt was dominant, pitching 6.2 innings while allowing 5 hits, striking out 6, and walking 2. He only threw 87 pitches. I have heard a lot about how the Yankees cannot develop starting pitching. Well, look at this year's rotation. Schmidt, Luis Gil, and Nestor. Cortes are all products of the Yankees’ system, although Cortes did leave home a couple of times.

 

Notable Performance – 

Anthony Rizzo had two hits, including his 7th home run of the season and drove in both runs for the Yankees.

 

Better to Forget – 

Clay Holmes walked a tightrope, blindfolded in the 9th inning, giving everyone a good fright.


Gleyber Torres once again was hitless. He has fewer hits than Nicolas Cage.

 

My Take –  

Now that Jon Berti is back from the IL, it seems that he will be playing. I can't really argue with that. He did have two hits and a stolen base last night. However, if he is going to play at the expense of Oswaldo Cabrera, that is a problem. Cabrera is doing much better offensively this year than he did last year. He is batting.256, even after a recent slump, and he has nineteen RBI, which is very solid. If Berti is going to play, Gleyber Torres is the one who should be sitting. I guarantee that Aaron Boone will not do so. He might give him a day off here and there but, he will keep trotting him out there. The team is winning now, so it is not as glaring an issue. However, if Gleyber Torres were to approach a pinata at a birthday party, the pinata would not be worried.

 

This is one of the problems with Aaron Boone, he is loyal to a fault. Remember when he kept playing Isiah Kiner-Falefa right up until the playoffs of 2022, when everyone knew he shouldn't be playing? Finally, he caved into the criticism and benched IKF. Once Boone forms an opinion regarding a player, it is immutable. From the player’s point of view, this is wonderful. No matter how awful a player is, if Boone believes in him, he will play every day. That is not a good thing for the long-term success of the team. Torres needs a few days off, at a minimum.

 

I read an article yesterday that stated many scouts believe Caleb Durbin could be at very least a utility player for the Yankees right now, if not the starting second baseman. He has been told his whole career that he is too small, but he is hitting .300 in the minors and steals bases the way the Cookie Monster steals well, you know.

 

For now, Giancarlo Stanton is playing well. Gleyber Torres is not. We are 1/4 of the way into the season. He projects to hit four home runs with 28 RBI. That's a good ten game stretch for Aaron Judge or Juan Soto. Right now, Torres has no trade value. It is foolish to believe that continuing to play him will increase his trade value. That ship has sailed. Unless a team is desperate for a second baseman, the Yankees are probably stuck with him for the rest of the year. That does not mean that he must play every day. If it starts to hurt the team, he should sit. But with Boone as the manager, he won't.

 

Next Up – 

Today, the Yankees play the second game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:10 PM at Tropicana Field. Nestor Cortes, (1-3, 3.72 ERA) will face Tampa Bay’s Zack Littell, (1-2 3.00 ERA). Let’s hope Littell comes up small.

 

24 Comments


jeff
May 11

I still stand behind Aaron Boone. Yes, he is loyal to a fault, but that is why the players LOVE playing for him!


Yes, he does NOT communicate well with players when it comes to players being honest about their injuries that effect their play, but he DOES communicate well with them when explaining to them why they are not in the lineup that day, or why they are being replaced in the game, or about other game decisions he makes that involves that player.


Yes, he does make questionable in-game decisions from time to time, some of which may cost the team a win, but so do all the other 29 managers in baseball. That goes for decisions base…


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Alan B.
Alan B.
May 11

I don't know how many times I have to say this - AARON BOONE DOES NOT MAKE UP THE LINEUP! Heck, Buck didn't make out the lineup for the Mets last year. Virtually all managers don't. Boone doesn't even have control over the roster. Also, outside of Nevin & Casey, name a single coach who was a Boone-inspired hire. One big thing that can be held against him, is that he knew all this when he was hired and was OK with with that. He has to know by now, all these years later he is being made a fool, his integrity, dignity, and most of all, his baseball acumen is being torn apart. And as a genuine 3rd gene…

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jeff
May 11
Replying to

Matt Blake does know his stuff, but I prefer a pitching coach who has had experience pitching in the majors and who has experienced "game situations" on a Major League mound, for many years. I also love that Gerrit Cole is also serving as a Pitching Coach right now in addition to Blake.

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fuster
May 11

Torres is not hitting .... at all

and that is entirely unusual and does reflects neither his ability nor his history. he's been a good hitter ....consistently through his years as a Yankee.


that he's not hitting this season is beyond dispute, even if the reasons as to why he has not hit is unexplained.


some would think that he's worried about his future

and advise him to consider plastic


some would theorize that Torres is coming up empty because of Judge's recent amputation


some weirdos might decide to ascribe to the traditional view of these things happen

and that rather than trying to explain Torres' slump it's best to ride it out

figure that at season's end he'll have…


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jeff
May 11
Replying to

The Tampa Bay Rays are notorious for that. And they always get excellent value in return because they are trading players right at their peak, just before their downturn.

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Mike Whiteman
May 11

Keeping Tonklin and sending Marinaccio is certainly curious on paper. I’m no GM - except for my fantasy team - but I wonder if there is value in having that “disposable” spot on the roster.


Gleyber looks bad, but I say keep running him out there for now while the others can carry him and give him a chance to break out. If he does, that’s even better for the lineup. But have a plan B as the weather gets warmer.


I’ll say something unpopular about Boone. I think he’s done a pretty good job thus far. The team has weathered the loss of Cole, a brutal slump by Judge, and the bullpen has had to be revamped already. And…


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jeff
May 12
Replying to

True. But if they are going to get rid of Boone, what person who is available now would do a better job than Boone? The only person I can name, who is currently available, is Joe Maddon, and only because he has won a World Series, is very well liked by the players he manages, but unlike Boone (and more like Joe Torre), he is a "father figure" to the players, and players respect managers like that more than the "one of the guys" managers, like Aaron Boone.

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etbkarate
May 11

As they used to say "Schmidts, appreciate the difference". He has learned tha art of pitching -- deception and location, very different from the high velo league mlb has become. It is refreshing!

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jeff
May 11
Replying to

Clarke Schmidt is also a great personality on the ballclub. They had Schmidt mic'd up for an entire game last weekend (vs Detroit), and he has a very rowdy "rah-rah" personality on the bench. Very funny, very actively conversing and playfully teasing other players (accuses Jose Trevino of messing around with his sunflower seeds), shouting, screaming, and even (poorly) singing in the dugout and having Gerrit Cole (another singer who can really belt out a tune!) join him in the song he is singing. He often challenges teammates to a "sunflower seed spitting" contest from the dugout, spitting seeds onto the field. He is extremely outgoing, very talkative, and he has a fearless personality on the mound when he pitches.

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