The very first American League Series game at Petco Park was no problem for Aaron Boone’s squad, who beat the Rays, 9-3, in the first score tighter than the last in this season. best of five competition Monday. Rookie Deivi Garcia will take the mound on Tuesday, the youngest Yankees to ever start a playoff game, as the owner of a 1-0 advantage in games and his team feel as good about themselves as any. the season.
“There’s no question the guys played really well,” said manager Aaron Boone. “Lots of big pitches, big defensive plays, with all the roster working well together, we really did break through. I think the guys are really focused and I hope we can keep going [Tuesday]. »
We already knew that this growing rivalry didn’t need fans to fuel it; on the contrary, empty Yankee Stadium and Tropicana Field in August and September made it easier for both sides to hear all the tweets about every real and perceived violation as the Rays won eight of their 10 battles. Yet this neutral site setup here on the other coast, driven by the same desire to contain the novel coronavirus as fanless regular season contests, represented a higher-level quirk, with the two clubs reuniting at one stadium again. baseball that everyone visits for about three sets every 13 years.
“It’s strange, it’s strange. Neither one of our parks nor any fan, ”admitted Giancarlo Stanton. “But this is the year of the unorthodox. At the same time, games are just as important. ”
And just as fascinating. The Yankees and Rays have played the high quality brand of ball we’ve come to expect all season. And the Yankees excelled in a way we’ve been expecting for… three games. They’re now 3-0 in the playoffs, displaying a tenacity, sharpness and offensive ferocity that barely came through in the randomized regular season.
With only bubbling family members, team and league officials, and the media scattered around the stands, clubs didn’t even care about the traditional basic roster presentations, or Boone and his counterpart from the Rays, Kevin Cash – barely friends of Zoom after Cash publicly slammed Boone on the dangerously high and tight trail wake from Aroldis Chapman to Mike Brosseau on September 1 – exchange your greetings on the pitch. Rays third baseman Rodney Linares represented his team and Boone his in the pre-game home plate meet with the officials.
Once Rays ace Blake Snell threw the first pitch, it seemed like the good old days, or maybe not old enough for the Rays.
The Yankees hit first, third and fifth, hanging there when ace Gerrit Cole gave up a pair, a two-run top on the fifth giving the “visitors” the lead in earnest as a personal wide receiver. Cole Kyle Higashioka and the Mighty and the Mighty Judge Aaron each did a solo homeroom (maybe not all homers are bad after all?)
Cole survived a tight bottom from the fifth, intentionally marching his foe (and former Yankee) Ji-Man Choi with rays in the first and second and two outs to go after Manuel Margot, whom he fanned with a fastball. of 100 mph. For all of the Yankees’ offensive fireworks display, their canoe has never been louder than it was then.
Speaking of offensive fireworks, the Yankees Bats put the game out of reach with a ninth of five points, the last four coming from a grand slam by Stanton, who has now gone to the bottom of all three games. Yankees playoffs. He especially enjoys playing at Petco, quite close to where he grew up, having played nine home runs in 20 games and winning the Home Run Derby here in 2016.
“It was great,” Stanton said of the overall game, which set so many precedents for uniqueness, but certainly didn’t stop the Yankees from doing well at home.