Series Review: #17 New York Yankees
Picture yourself taking a nice leisurely drive to nowhere in particular. The winding road carries plenty of beautiful distractions, but the hum of the tires and the monotony of the radio begin to drone into one faraway noise. You listen deeper, and think you can begin to locate the source of the sound. Was that it over there, you ponder? No, can’t be that sounded like –
You wake up strapped in the driver’s seat of your piece of shit rental. Something isn’t right. Before you closed your eyes for just a sec it was broad daylight. How long were you out, you wonder? That is when you notice the sucking sound and realize that it’s still daytime. You’re starting to fully realize the gravity of your situation as it pulls you and the mass of metal, the modern sarcophagus, I suppose, down into the depths of the lake.
The water is rushing in faster now, and the water is looking awfully dark. If you panic, you die, but you have enough time and oxygen to get to the surface if you can keep your wits. The slightest misstep will lead to some hiker finding your mostly decomposed corpse a few months from now, but if you can break that window and follow the bubbles up there might just be a chance to get back all that you had. Will you panic? Will the Rays?
The Rays have fallen so precipitously down the standings that they finally hit bottom with a thud. They’re currently trying to conserve as much oxygen as possible while figuring out the best thing they can find to break a window. This is the most important time, because when you fall you must rise or forever stay down.
The teams entered this series about as evenly matched as you can get. The same exact expected wOBA yielded the same expectation for runs and ultimately win expectancy. In real life the Rays played well enough to win two of the three games, but just couldn’t quite get that timely hit. In the process they wasted one of Jake Odorizzi’s most efficient, and best, starts of his career. Tip your cap to Nathan Eovaldi, who tiptoed through trouble, but the Rays had their chances with little to show for them.
While the team lost, it was good to see the pitching back, for the most part, even if the Yankees are a miserable hitting bunch. Odorizzi gave an ace-like performance, and Chris Archer got firmly back on the good side of average, while Matt Moore seemed to have been left out there a little too long. He had been quite good prior to his last inning where he gave up the majority of his damage. The bullpen was mostly light’s out, with the exception of Enigmatic Enny Romero. Sturdevant might prove useful against righties, which would help the team fill the ROOGY half of the platoon with LOOGY Xavier Cedeno, who is starting to look pretty good again.
The team received standout hitting performances from Steve Pearce and, finally, Hank Conger. It was nice to see Hank have a big game, but it sure would be nice to see more of that once in a while. The right-handed corner outfield triumvirate of Souza, Jennings and Mahtook really let the team down with the sticks this series. I would think with Forsythe coming back in the next two weeks that Jennings and Mahtook are fighting over who is going to stay with the team when that decision is needed. If Mahtook doesn’t show much ability in center field it will be difficult to see him sticking around.
Here’s the Yankees if you care about that sort of thing. The Rays did a great job against Alex Rodriguez other than the massive homer he always seems to hit against. You could say the same about Starlin Castro who was mostly held in check until his homer, the only hit of the third game for the Yankees, drove in all the runs they needed. The longball has been a dual-edged sword for the Rays. One they have been happy to wield, but they’ve also taken their fair share of blows. It’s getting to the point that you have to wonder if an adjustment is needed, because it’s awfully tough to win when you’re giving homers every game.
On their side, Tanaka was as good as he always is against the Rays. The Cerberus known as the back of their bullpen was electric, and Luis Cessa fell on the sword in the second game to ensure the third was still winnable. Very underrated performance from him. The Rays have owned Pineda all year.