Yankees miss message opportunity against rivals Rays

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Call this a message in a drone.

Eliminate all those stipulations: only one game Friday at Tropicana Field. Only seven games in the season. The Yankees remain robust, mathematically alive to win the 2021 championship.

Still, if a Yankee is trying to tell you the club didn’t want to open this season’s series with a fan at the Rays, after everything that happened last year, hook that person up on a lie detector test. . Instead, it was Aaron Boone’s squad, minus Aaron Judge again, who absorbed powerful punches to the pace of a 10-5 loss on the day the Rays hoisted their banner as champions. reigning American League.

“We still want to send a message. We always want you to know who you’re playing, ”Boone said after that stench. “But the message is being sent throughout the year when it comes to our game, and we have to play [consistently] and play well. If we do this, we will be the team we expect to be. “

The Yankees, who as you know lost eight of the 10 regular season battles and then the AL Division series to the 2020 Rays, certainly didn’t come across as some sort of challenger that day. Rather, they served as the ointment for the Rays, who opened their home program as owners with a 2-4 record, underperformance and injury defining their first week. Tampa Bay third baseman Joey Wendle said, “It’s a special and fun game. I think we will remember it for the most part.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber, right, hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone as he is taken out of the game.
Corey Kluber struggled a lot in his second start from the Yankees.
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Strong throws, shaky hitting and defense and another headache for the judges’ health defined the Yankees’ first week, as they went 3-3 on their homestand out of the gate, and The Trop n ‘ nothing healed that hurt them.

Corey Kluber, whom the Rays also chased last winter when the Yankees landed him for a surprising $ 11 million, behaved badly in his second start as a Yankee, failing to make it past. third inning as he took his team’s lead (four – run up the third by putting the visitors up, 4-2) and putting them back, then a few in the bottom of the frame. In the spirit of spreading the blame, Kluber didn’t get much help from his defense, as DJ LeMahieu’s second inning toss error on Yandy Diaz’s ground ball in third – LeMahieu tipping in the hot corner because Gio Urshela was suffering from side effects from the coronavirus vaccine – launched a two-stage rally. In the next game of this rally, LeMahieu’s key replacement Tyler Wade couldn’t stop a Grounder Wendle from reaching right field.

The game-changing third-round rally began after beleaguered Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres failed to capture Yoshi Tsutsugo’s pop on the left side after a long run; given another opportunity, Tsutsugo hit a straight field to the right. While the official scorer rightly didn’t accuse Torres of a mistake given how difficult the game was, you couldn’t help but wonder if a more skillful shortstop would have managed the catch.

“It’s a very difficult game,” said Boone. “Obviously, [that and the LeMahieu miscue are] the ones we expect to do. “

The Yankees offense continued its hot and cold nature by putting together a magnificent two-strike rally against Rays starter Rich Hill at the top of the third set: Wade singles, LeMahieu doubles, Giancarlo Stanton two-point singles and Aaron Hicks homeroom. in two points. Still, when the Rays hit back, the Yankees didn’t reciprocate, and Nick Nelson – who like almost everyone in the team’s reliever box threw exceptionally through the house – left the game behind. get out of hand with a fourth at four points. The Yankees have had four baserunners, including a LeMahieu solo homer, in the last six innings.

Throw in another Did Not Play from the judge, due to his mysterious left side injury, and the Yankees found some silver liners in the office. No reason to shake the Rays after their reintroduction.

“We got past him,” Tampa Bay second baseman Brandon Lowe said of last year’s Yankees-Rays rivalry. “What happened has happened. It’s finish. We move forward. “

The still vacillating Yankees blew their first blow to move on the Rays. For such a talented group, they’ve certainly sent an inviting message so far.

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