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  • Tim Kabel

About Yesterday Afternoon: The Yankees Were Edged by the Rays 8-7

by Tim Kabel

May 15, 2023


The Yankees split this series with the Rays after losing another close one yesterday. At this point, they trail the season series with the Rays three games to four. Six of the seven games against the Rays have been decided by one run. In other words, they have been very competitive with the Rays. Yet, the Rays are in first place in the division and the Yankees are tied for last place in the division. They trail the Rays by eight games. The Yankees can certainly turn things around but, they need to be consistent, and they need to move up in the standings. The next four games against the Blue Jays are very important if they want to start doing that.

Quick Stats -

  • Heading into yesterday’s game, Anthony Volpe had already set a Yankees’ record by being successful in his first thirteen stolen base attempts.

  • Oswaldo Cabrera had eight RBI in his last seven games.

  • The Yankees have more home runs in May than any other team in the Majors.

  • Anthony Volpe has 3 home runs in his last 5 games, after hitting 3 in his first 37 games.

  • In the seven games against Tampa Bay this season, Yankees pitchers have hit seven batters.

  • Six of the seven games between the Yankees and the Rays this season have been decided by one run.

The Big Story -

The Yankees showed a lot of fight this weekend against the Rays, with the exception of Thursday night's game. They had a lot of big hits and big plays from several of their players.

Aaron Judge is getting back on track after his stint on the IL. He hit two home runs on Saturday and just missed a game-tying home run yesterday. Anthony Rizzo is hitting over .300 with nine home runs. Harrison Bader has been hitting very well since he returned from the IL and made an amazing diving catch in center field yesterday. Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera have been getting hot lately.

The games this weekend were exciting and the Yankees could be on the verge of a prolonged winning streak. The ingredients are there but as with any meal, you can have the best ingredients in the world but the quality of the meal depends on the chef.

Player of the Game -

Oswaldo Cabrera went 3-4, with a two-run home run and a bunt single. He also made a tremendous diving catch when he was moved to left field.

Notable Performances -

Anthony Volpe had two hits, including a two-home run. Anthony Rizzo also hit a two-run home run.

Better to Forget-

Clarke Schmidt had another shaky outing as, although Albert Abreu certainly didn't help.

My Take -

The Yankees hung with the Rays this weekend. They played a tough series and split it. They would have won the series if they had won the game yesterday. There were a lot of very good signs this weekend. Aaron Judge is rounding back into form. Anthony Rizzo is having a great season. DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres are showing signs of being productive. Lately, Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera have been getting hot.

The Yankees are in last place in the division but, all the teams are bunched together. They need to start jumping over teams and moving their way up. They have the ability to do this. Luis Severino could be back within a week. Carlos Rodon is throwing and could be progressing toward a return. Giancarlo Stanton could be back very soon. Although Nestor Cortes had a few shaky outings, I'm not overly concerned about him.

It is possible that the Yankees will make a run, hopefully very soon. However, I must go back to that same old theme. The team needs to be “Boone-proofed”. Aaron Boone continues to make decisions which derail the progress the team is making. For some reason, he has a fascination with certain players and finds ways to work them in, when there is really no logical reason to do so. Although Albert Abreu was pretty good at the beginning of the season, he is reverting to his natural form. Using him in relief of Clarke Schmidt in the fifth inning was not a great decision. Boone could have brought in Ron Marinaccio or practically anyone else. Abreu promptly gave up a grand slam, effectively losing the game.

Boone has a similar fascination with Isiah Kiner-Falefa. I thought that when IKF lost the starting shortstop job, he would have a very reduced role. Now, Boone works him in, primarily in the outfield, in practically every game. He is batting .182, with no home runs and two RBI. Boone uses him like a security blanket. Aaron Hicks was injured a few days ago but has not been placed on the IL. I understood waiting to make a decision about putting Aaron Judge on the IL because he is crucial to the team's success. What is the point of wasting a roster spot on Hicks. If he can't play, put him on the IL and bring up well, anybody. In fact, despite the one home run Hicks hit which caused great fanfare, he is having another awful season. Yet, Boone finds ways to get him in the lineup.

Boone consistently makes dubious and incorrect decisions. It is not always the same decision. Sometimes, he reverses decisions. The only thing consistent about his decisions is that they are the incorrect ones. He will leave a pitcher in too long or he will pull him too quickly. Whichever is the wrong choice, that's the one he makes. To quote the old knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “he chose poorly.”

This is Aaron Boone 's sixth season as manager. He is not getting any better. He will continue to make questionable decisions. He will continue to act smug and condescending in post-game interviews. He will continue to provide inane and nonsensical answers to legitimate questions.

I believe the Yankees have a team that could win the World Series once their injured players return and after they make a few tweaks to the roster, particularly in the bullpen. Jake Bauers could be the left-handed bat they need. I don't think Willie Calhoun is and he probably won't be around too much longer.

However, as I remarked earlier, you can have the best ingredients in the world but if the chef is not very good, the meal won't be either. Aaron Boone has provided no evidence that he is capable of managing a team to a championship. In almost every series they play, he makes at least one or two questionable decisions that could potentially cost the game. Sometimes the team wins despite him; sometimes it does not. I think we are at a point where the Yankees need to take Boone, Hicks and Josh Donaldson and give them some nice parting gifts and let them go off and make a sequel to The Three Amigos. It would be nice to see what this team would do with someone else managing it. We know what they will do with Boone managing it: They will go home before the World Series starts.

Next Up -

Tonight, the Yankees open a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:07 PM at the Rogers Centre. Jhony Brito (2-3, 5.81 ERA) will face Toronto's Alek Manoah (1-3 4.83 ERA).


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
May 15, 2023

I've been saying for a couple of weeks that we'd know something important about the 2023 season come the evening of May 14. The good news is that an injured team can play the Rays even. If the Yankees can get healthy, they are a better team. The bad news is that there is no guarantee that Severino will come back and stay healthy. Rodon has been as effective this year as Montas. Is Rodon coming back, or is he going join Loaisiga on the 60-day IL? Is Kahnle ever coming back? As long as Abreu is around to give up grand slams because everyone else is gassed, or Ryan Weber is even on the 26-man roster, the pitc…


May 15, 2023

If Yankees split against all the teams ahead of them…… they will end up being about where they are in standings 3place in AL East! Yankees banking on Severino and Rodon will improve SP as long as they can remain healthy however the BP is getting overworked and we are only 1/4 thru season. Take away Yankees 3games against A’s and even with balanced schedule this year and all the injuries Yankees are slightly over .500 ball! Crystal Ball sez….. slightly optimistic…. they are who we see so far!

May 15, 2023
Replying to

any chance that the return of Kahnle helps the bullpen?

and will the return of Severino mean that Schmidt moves to the pen?


May 15, 2023

the Yankees do NOT have a healthy pitching staff at this point of the season.

they do NOT have a good pitching staff at this point of the season.

they have half a staff and the half that they have is quite tired

the current staff allowed 29 runs to the Rays over the course of the four past games.

8, 5, 8, and 8

quite a lot.

and the awful, terrible, anemic Yankee offense that some consider to have been listlessly, negligently, meanly and incompetently assembled was unable to win no more than two of those games


May 15, 2023

Unfortunately for me, I did not see any of the game, however going into the series the very least they needed to do (IMO) was 3 out of 4. Not just to make a dent in the standings, but to send a clear message to the Rays and the rest of the league. They failed to do so, and now sit at 23-19 after 42 games, which puts them on target for 88 wins. Personally, that isn't good enough, especially after the 2nd half of 2022 collapse. The schedule does not get any easier, 8 of the next 11 games are against the Blue Jays and the much improved Orioles. Since the 2022 All Star break the team's record i…


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
May 15, 2023

The Yankees played the Rays tough.. No doubt.

And there is a lot of season to go. Absolutely.

BUT... it is a complete change of expectations/philosophy for the Yankees and their fans when "We split with the Rays and played them tough" is seen as some sort of a victory.

The mark of success in the Yankees world using to be... winning.

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
May 15, 2023
Replying to

A sincere thank you to your dad for serving our country. That's bigger and more important than any baseball debates.

dr sem.png

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