Hicks Costs Yanks in Field & At Plate. Tampa 4 NY 0

Aaron Hicks misjudged a ball in centerfield leading to the only run of the game until Tampa put 3 more on the board in the 9th, and at the plate killed the Yankees’ best rally by grounding into a double play with 1 out and bases loaded in the 4th — the very next frame after making the error. It sent Yankee Twitter into conniptions and the Yankees to the 4-0 loss.

It’s a team game however, and the Yanks as a team were shutout for the 2nd night in a row, and 4th time in last 9 games.

Gerrit Cole was the hard-luck loser — pitching 6 terrific innings, and getting charged with the 1 run — an earned run even though it was a clear error but Hicks never got his glove on the ball, turning the wrong way in centerfield in a Bad News Bears move.

“First off I turned the wrong way,” said Aaron Hicks afterwards. “I tried to recover, thinking it was still right on top of me — but it ended up being behind me. I tried to turn around and catch it, but by then I was already beat by the ball. That was a run that Gerrit shouldn’t have had to deal with.”

On a 75-degree, low humidity summer Monday night in the Bronx.

Incredibly Toronto lost so the now 72-44 Yanks remain 10 games in 1st — although Tampa (61-53) is now 10 games out as well, and Baltimore is 11.5 out. Boston brings up the rear of the AL East, 15 games out.

1. Cole Terrific

Good news for the Yanks was that Gerrit Cole was terrific again. In a big start — against 3rd place (now 2nd place) Tampa. His line: 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run (should have been unearned but was counted as earned), 6 K’s, 2 walks. His pitch count ran to 104 so he was taken out after 6 innings.

Cole was helped in the 3rd by a terrific defensive play by Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who snared a line drive and turned it into a double play, with 1st and 2nd and 1 out.

Cole is the hard-luck loser to go 9-5 3.30. He’s pitching well but it looks like he will not get a Cy Young this year either (he’s never won one; having finished 2nd in the voting twice, 4th in the voting twice, and 5th in the voting once).

“We need a spark,” said Cole afterwards. When asked what was missing from the Yankees the last few weeks, Cole said, “Just the extra little things that put us over the hump. I mean I’ve seen us put up 6’s and 7’s up there before you can even blink sometimes, so I don’t ever think we’re out of any games, but at the same time 3 seems a lot harder than it was a while ago.”

Asked if that was concerning to him, Cole answered, “It’s just baseball.”

2. Hicks Misjudges Ball In Center, Yields Triple & Run

The Yanks were up against Tampa’s bullpen on bullpen day — Jalen Beeks opening and pitching 2 innings, and then Ryan Yarbrough pitching 4 shutout, 2 hit innings into the 7th.

It was evident by the top of the 4th that runs would be at a premium when Tampa’s David Peralta led off with a deep fly to center that Hicks went back on, but turned left when he should have turned right — realizing his mistake he flailed at the ball but it fell for a triple.

Isaac Paredes followed with a single that eeked through between short and 3rd and it was 1-0 Tampa.

Cole struck out the next two batters and got a groundout to end the inning but the damage was done.

3. Hicks Kills Rally

And so it was to the bottom of the 4th — Miguel Andujar led off with a single, Andrew Benintendi bunted and was safe at 1st on an error by Yarbrough, and with one out, Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to load the bases.

Up stepped.. Aaron Hicks.

He hit a 1-1 pitch weakly back to Yarbrough, who threw home to start a home-to-1st double play.

4. Tampa Bullpen Day Shuts Out Yanks

Tampa used their old formula to beat the Yanks — great bullpen. The combo of opener Jalen Beeks, Yarbrough, Ryan ThompsonBrooks Raley, and Jason Adam shut out the Yanks — spacing out the Yankees’ 7 hits.

Besides the Yankee’s 4th inning rally, they had other opportunities, mostly dashed by double plays:

  • In the 1st, Gleyber Torres led off with a single, but Aaron Judge hit into a double play, wasting Anthony Rizzo‘s double that followed with 2 outs. Rizzo was stranded at 2nd.
  • The Yanks put 2 on in the 2nd with 2 outs, but Hicks struck out to end the inning.
  • Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the 8th, but Judge hit into another double play to end the threat.

5. Trivino Dashes Yankee Hopes in 9th

Still down 1-0 in the top of the 9th, the Yankees were hoping for a rally and needed to keep Tampa at bay. Wandy Peralta got an out, walk, out, walk — and was lifted for Lou Trivino with 1st and 2nd, 2 outs.

Trivino brought in gasoline. Single, hit by pitch, single made it 4-0 Tampa for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore/_/gameId/401355952

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