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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Bronx, NY (Sept 23) – The New York Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays by the score of 15-8 on Thursday night. The Yankees clinched a playoff spot and the division title on Wednesday and they looked like a team that was partying the night before. The Yankees had most of their regulars sitting out and even got some pitchers in there to make their major league debuts. Bartolo Colon started and was horrible; he was a person that was thought of as the number two or three starter in the postseason but I don’t think that is the case anymore. The Yankees used a bunch of relievers who had varying levels of success. The offense was shut down by Matt Moore who made his major league debut but were able to get to the Rays bullpen a little bit.
Colon pitched three innings giving up seven hits and seven runs with five of them being earned. He walked one and struck out one. Colon took the loss and is 8-10 on the season; he looked like a pitcher who is just tired as, he pitched so well in the first half of the season but has just lost it after the all-star break. Scott Proctor pitched an inning giving up four hits and five runs with three of them being earned. He walked two batters, Aaron Laffey pitched 1 2/3 innings giving up four hits, one run and struck out one, and Andrew Brackman in his major league debut pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit and one walk. Dellin Betances also made his major league debut and pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up two runs and four walks with a hit batter, George Kontos pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit, and he struck out one.
Chris Dickerson had a hit, Eduardo Nunez had two hits and a walk and Austin Romine had a hit and a walk. Nick Swisher had a hit, Ramiro Pena had two hits and two RBI and Andruw Jones had two hits and three RBI. Jesus Montero had a big game with three hits, two RBI and two walks. Jorge Posada and Brandon Laird each had a hit. Montero had a double and Jones had a homerun. The Yankees were 4-14 with runners in scoring position and they left 11 men on base. Swisher made an error, Jeter made two errors and Dickerson made an error.
The Rays jumped all over the Yankees in this game. Matt Joyce had a two-run single in the first and Johnny Damon had a sacrifice fly to give the Rays a 3-0 lead. B.J. Upton had an RBI triple and Evan Longoria an RBI double in the second to give them a 5-0 lead. In the third inning, Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homerun to give the Rays a 7-0 lead and the rout was on. Upton hit a two-run homerun in the fourth, Damon hit a two-run homerun and Reid Brignac hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 12-0. IN the fifth inning Zobrist hit a sacrifice fly to make it 13-0. Jones hit a two-run homerun in the sixth inning to get the Yankees on the board. In the seventh, Pena and Jones had RBI singles to make it 13-4 and Montero had a two run double. It was 13-6 Rays. In the eighth, a pitch to score a run hit Matt Joyce and Russ Canzler hit a sacrifice fly to make it 15-6 Rays. In the eighth Pena reached on a throwing error to score two runs and make it 15-8. That would be all the scoring in the game.
The Yankees won three out of four in the series against the Rays. The Rays with the victory are two games back of the Red Sox for the wild card with six games to go. The Yankees begin a three game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
The Yankees will have Freddy Garcia on the mound against Jon Lester. The Yankees have a magic number of two to clinch home field advantage through the AL playoffs. The Yankees can get that this weekend and really rest up next week against the Rays for the final three games.
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees play the Red Sox who are their archrivals and I am sure they would love to knock out of the postseason. The Yankees just want to get players healthy and tuned up for the postseason, which will begin next Friday night at the Stadium.