Sometimes, the score just tells you all you need to know about how a team is currently playing. The yankees lost more frustrating, close games as part of their skid than blowouts, but they picked a great time to kick their asses off the ballclub, which has now chipped 10 games off its AL East lead in the span of a month — one where the Yankees were the worst team in the American League. The Yankees lost, 9-0, in a game that was technically close through seven, but it was not really in truth.
The usual suspects of that terrible slide were all there. For the sixth time since the beginning of August, the Yankees’ lineup was shut down, stranding runners and looking lifeless. The defense made some bad mistakes, with Josh Donaldson playing Public Enemy No. 1 that time around with two errors leading to the Rays’ first run. The starting pitching did a pretty decent job; the score was 3-0 at the start of the eighth before the floodgates opened. Combined, it was an all-too-familiar recipe for disaster that fans of the 2022 Yankees were assaulted for nearly the entire second half.
I almost want to end the recap right there because examining this mess too closely is like picking up a rock that just crushed a chip and inspecting the bottom. But I’ll do my best while continuing to keep it relatively short because this Yankees team is not playing at all like it deserves any fan’s headspace.
Starting with the positives, Domingo Germán simply did his job again, just like he did for most of August. Through six innings, he kept the Rays’ offense at bay allowing one run on five hits, wobbling out of trouble a few times in the process. The one run couldn’t really be blamed on him, as it was the result of a Donaldson error in the fourth that was immediately followed by a second error (which preceded a nice relay involving Oswaldo Cabrera throwing out a runner at home).
Cabrera’s heroics could not fully keep the scoreless, however. David Peralta singled in a run to put Tampa on top. The Rays could have stopped there and won because the Yankees’ offense is such a joke these days, but they didn’t. Just as Germán did last week in Oakland, he returned to the mound for the seventh with a low pitch count, but after a one-out walk to Isaac Paredes, Tampa delivered the crushing blow on Christian Bethancourt’s two-run homer to. make it 3-0.
The first-half Yankees would hardly have been intimidated by a late 3-0 deficit, but those guys are history. The second-half Yankees played like they never had a prayer against Rays starter Jeffrey Springs. Oh, they put some guys on base, but they never scored; New York went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and considering how the team has played recently, only the most optimistic of fans would be hopeful in those spots. Check out these highlights:
- A completely lost Donaldson called on strikes to end the first with two men on
- A two-out, one-out rally fizzled out in the third when Andrew Benintendi heard “pop” in his wrist, felt numbness and had to leave* in the middle of a stroke; Cabrera pinch-hit and popped up, while the fading Giancarlo Stanton struck out
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa never manages to advance after a rare double to lead from the fifth
- IKF returns the unassisted favor in the sixth by grounding out with runners on first and second
*Bintendi’s X-rays were negative, but he will go for an MRI tomorrow. While perhaps losing an outfielder who has hit around league average since coming over from Kansas City shouldn’t be crushing, it certainly feels like it for the 2022 Yankees.
The Yankees never got another player in scoring position after that. The lineup is just a nightmare in all the worst ways.
In the eighth, the Rays made this laugh as they struck out Greg Weissert and Anthony Banda. Weissert allowed two normal hits and then one gift on Yu Chang’s top behind the mound that he threw away. Chang got an infield hit and Weissert was charged with the Yankees’ third error of the night to make it 5-0. That ushered in a comically bad outing from the worst pitcher on the roster, Banda, who walked three — including two with the bases loaded — while giving up two singles and a hit batter.
By the time the dust settled, it was 9-0, the Rays had trimmed the AL East lead to just five games, and manager Aaron Boone was left fuming at his team’s results in the postgame.
Aaron Boone: “I’m in charge of this team. What we are going through now, I know better than anyone. […] I do think the effort is there. I think the concern is there. But we set a much better standard in that room that we have to live up to.”
– Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) 3 September 2022
The words are nice and all, but maybe the rookie top prospect who was called up yesterday should be starting rather than sitting on the bench until two outs in the ninth inning of a blowout! No, Oswald Peraza didn’t get an exciting moment for his MLB debut at all, like him crossed out to end this farce. Poor fellow.
The Yankees and Rays will meet again tomorrow night at the Trop, with Clarke Schmidt looking for redemption from an ugly return to the rotation last Sunday in Oakland. He will face Corey Kluber with his former teammate’s first pitch coming at 6:10 PM ET. Will Peraza actually start this time? Who knows!!!