No Cigar Today. Tampa Blows Smoke in NY’s Face 12-2

You always knew it could come to this — even after the Yanks took 5 of 6 from Boston and Toronto last week. Winning 1 game, preferably 2, over Tampa the final weekend of the season was no sure thing.

And it hasn’t been — after losing a close one Friday night the Yanks got SMOKED on a sunny, 70-degree Saturday afternoon at The Stadium when Jordan Montgomery got hammered by two 3-run homers by Brandon Lowe — who hit a 3rd homer later on against Michael King. Tampa knocked out 19 hits to the Yankees 4 hits. It was a pummeling.

Boston, Toronto, and Seattle all won — meaning Boston takes charge of the home field for the Wild Card, tying the Yanks record wise, and Toronto and Seattle are both 1 game back. Still all the Yanks need to do is win Sunday to gain a wild card, and hope Boston loses to gain the top Wild Card and home field. If the Yankees lose it is a nightmare scenario of a playoff game or series of playoff games for the Wild Card on Monday.

“Obviously a real tough day,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Just a real bad day for us, and we have to get over it quickly.”


Monty got in trouble right away in the top of the 1st with a leadoff walk and single to put 1st and 2nd nobody out. But he looked to be getting out of it with a pop out, and then a tremendous diving catch by Joey Gallo in left running to his right to save 2 runs.

But Brandon Lowe hit a homer to the short porch in right and it was 3-0 Tampa.

The Yanks got a run back in the bottom of the 1st on an Anthony Rizzo homer (below) and Monty settled down to retire the side in the 2nd so it was 3-1 Tampa and the Yanks were in it.

But in the 3rd, Monty allowed 2 of the first 3 to get on — and Brandon Lowe stepped up again. John Sterling gave everyone a heart attack when he called “THERE IT GOES TO DEEP RIGHT… but foul”. Unfortunately on the next pitch Lowe hit a 3-run homer into the short porch again — just making it over the fence — and it was 6-1 Tampa. It was Lowe’s 35th homer of the year.

Monty completely lost it — the next batter Mike Zunino homered to make it 7-1, and the next batter Manuel Margot doubled. Monty got Austin Meadows to fly out and was gone — 2.2 innings, 7 runs — his worst outing of the year. He falls to 6-7 3.83 on the year.

“I couldn’t throw strikes, got behind some counts, and didn’t execute many pitches,” summed up Montgomery afterwards about his performance.

On Lowe’s homers, Monty added, “Usually I do pretty well against lefties, but he got to one of my fastballs on the first one, and (on the 2nd HR) I just left a changeup up and he was able to pull it.”

Monty had pitched well against Tampa this year.

When asked if he had changed his game plan against the Rays, Monty added, “Maybe a little bit. When you face guys that much you kind of have to mix it up, but I just executed poorly.”

Toronto stole a run on the Yanks in the 5th off Lucas Luetge (Arozarena literally stole 2nd and 3rd and scored on a 2-out single), and then unloaded off Michael King and Joely Rodriguez in the 7th — Lowe hit his 3rd homer to lead off (his 36th homer of the year), King allowed 2 more singles and yielded to Joely Rodriguez who coughed up a 3-run bomb to Austin Meadows and it was 12-2.


  • Aaron Judge went 1-3 with a walk, and just missed a 2-run homer on that catch at the top of the wall, and was robbed of a double down the 3rd-base line in the 5th — he could have went 3-3. His slash line is 39-97-.288 (.374 OBP). He is tied for 5th in homers, 12th in batting average and 5th in OBP in the American League.

The Boxscore

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