New York Yankees Fall For A Second Straight Night In Tampa (Highlights)
Kim Klement, USATI

The New York Yankees turned in another subpar effort as they dropped a second straight to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

  • New York Yankees: 3 (52-51)
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 6 (41-61)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

Following a promising stretch of .700 baseball against three playoff-caliber teams, it appears as if the New York Yankees are right back where they started. Should it come to any surprise? Absolutely not.

Joe Girardi’s team simply continues to prove they are what they are: mediocre.

Turning in two consecutive poor efforts against arguably the worst team in baseball is unjustifiable. To make matters worse, two games were dropped which easily could have propelled the Yanks into relevancy.

Well, what does define relevance?

Let’s start with formidable pitching performances against a team which currently ranks 28th in the league in batting average. How about keeping a team which ranks 25th in on-base percentage, off the base paths.

The good old saying goes, “momentum takes you as far as your next day’s starting pitcher.” Simply put, the Yankees have not pitched. Consequently, they have not succeeded in games imperative towards the organization’s future path.

If I am Hal Steinbrenner come Monday’s pivotal trade deadline, I sell every single one of my expendable assets. No longer can I watch Anthony Swarzak trot out from the bullpen doors in a game within reach. No longer can I watch the offense revolve around the heroics of Carlos Beltran and Didi Gregorius, and no one else. No longer can I watch pure mediocrity.

Tonight was a direct example of what the New York Yankees currently are. Monday’s Aroldis Chapman move was a direct indication of what they can become.

Highlights

Tampa Bay set the tone for what the game would ultimately become. In the bottom of the first, it was Brad Miller launching a solo shot to dead center field to propel the Rays to an early 1-0 advantage.

However, in the third, Brett Gardner gave the Yankees the only lead they would possess. A two-run shot to right field provided a 2-1 lead they would relinquish in the bottom half.

Curt Casali stepped up in the home half of the third and hit a two-run shot off Nathan Eovaldi to put Tampa Bay back in front for good.

Eovaldi would end up recording a quality start, but he certainly did not hand the game over to trustworthy middle relief.

With Swarzak on the mound in the seventh Steven Souza Jr. lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield to make it a 4-2 ballgame. While his run-scoring knock certainly served as a large contribution, it was the following batter who provided the final blow. Tim Beckham cracked a two-run shot to straightaway center field to extend the lead to 6-2.

The late run support ensured that Drew Smyly would be credited with the victory. By allowing only two earned runs and striking out six over six strong frames, the 27-year-old southpaw picked up his third victory of the year.

A late Chase Headley solo blast was not enough for the Bombers, who were silenced into the night thereafter. Rays closer Alex Colome effectively slammed the door by striking out the side in the ninth for his 24th save in 25 tries.

What’s Next?

The Yankees and Rays will wrap up this three-game set tomorrow afternoon at Tropicana Field. Michael Pineda (5-9, 5.00 ERA) will oppose Blake Snell (2-4, 3.05 ERA) in the series finale.

First pitch will commence at 1:10 pm ET as the Yanks look to avoid a sweep. The game can be seen on WPIX and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

NEXT: New York Yankees Measuring Market For Brian McCann (Report)

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