Britton Blows Game & Hamstring; Tampa 4 NY 2 — Aug 19, 2020

In a rare off outing for him, Zack Britton blew the game and his hamstring in the 8th inning, with a leadoff error, wild pitch, walk, fielder’s choice to catch the runner from 3rd trying to score, then two straight singles (to 1st baseman MikeBrosseau and shortstop Willy Adames) for 2 runs. He limped off the field with the Yanks down 4-2, 2 runners on and only 1 out; the game seemingly lost.

Britton has been a dependable Yankee ace reliever so far this year — leading the league in saves with 9, before taking a role as setup with Aroldis Chapman returning the other night. It was clear Britton probably injured himself on the leadoff error where he got Yandy Diaz to ground to 1st — Luke Voit fielded the ball and threw off his knees to Britton racing to 1st, but the ball bounced off Britton’s glove and Diaz ended up on 2nd.

Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Britton for the final 2 outs of the 8th and pitched a shutout 9th, lowering his ERA to 2.77 — allowing a Yank comeback in the 9th.

Yank Comeback Attempt in 9th

The Yanks put the first two batters on in the 9th against Chaz Roe, but then Brett Gardner lined out to center, and Jalen Beeks came in to strike out Miguel Andujar and Thairo Estrada with Yankee runners on 2nd and 3rd — the tieing run in scoring position — for the old ballgame.

Yanks Still in 1st by “This Much”

With a second straight win over the Yanks, second-place Tampa is now 16-9 to the Yanks’ 16-8. The teams play a 1 pm game Thursday at the Stadium with James Paxton (1-1 7.04) taking on John Curtiss (1-0 2.84).

Old-Fashioned Pitcher’s Duel for Most of Game

It had been an old fashioned pitcher’s duel between Yank ace Gerrit Cole and Tampa young stud Tyler Glasnow. Cole allowed solo homers in the 2nd (to Ji-Man Choi) and 3rd (to catcher Mike Zunino).

Glasnow, who has had a rough start to the season and came in at 0-1 7.04), was on his game — striking out 8 thru 5.2 innings — but the Yanks were able to answer with a solo homer by Luke Voit in the 3rd and a leadoff triple by Aaron Hicks in the 6th, who was plated with a sac fly from Gio Urshela to tie the score 2-2 heading to the 7th inning.

Katie Sharp pointed out that Luke Voit’s last 4 hits have been home runs. Voit is now batting .290 with 9 home runs.

Boone’s Hunch Was Right

Yankee manager Aaron Boone sent Gerrit Cole out to pitch the 7th on 99 pitches in the 2-2 tie. Cole got 2 outs (including a nifty play over 2nd by Gio Urshela) and allowed a bunt single to the speedy right fielder Manuel Margot. Britton came in to strike out left fielder Austin Meadows for the final out.

But Boone’s gut was right to stay with Cole so long, as Britton didn’t have it in the 8th.

The Boxscore

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