With 2 outs in the 9th, and the Yanks down 5-2 and looking lifeless — Marwin Gonzalez hit a 2-run homer to make it 5-4 and here came Aaron Judge as a pinch hitter. And there it went deep to left, and Rickie Riccardo on the radio went into his Home Run call — and everyone watching thought it was gone — but it died and was caught at the warning track.
Tampa 5 NY 4. Final.
This was the Isaac Paredes game — the 1st baseman whom the Rays got from Detroit for Austin Meadows at the start of the season. Paredes who had hit 7 homeruns in his 283 At Bat career thus far — hit 3 (three) homers — 2 off Nestor Cortes Jr. — and drove in 4 of Tampa’s 5 runs.
The Yanks lost to even the 3-game series against Tampa; their 2nd loss in 3 games and their record falling to 50-18, still 11.5 games over Toronto, 12.5 over Boston, and 13 over Tampa.
On a Tuesday night at the Trop.
1. Paredes Clips Cortes
Paredes was a Cortes Killer. He and Harold Ramirez hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the 1st to make it 2-0 Tampa. Both balls were hooked just inside the foul pole down the left field line — Ramirez’s shot ‘just’ making it over the fence at the 315-foot mark.
Can we interest you in back-to-back jacks? pic.twitter.com/Q9I0aPHWgi
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 21, 2022
The Yanks came back to tie it 2-2 but Paredes hit another homer off Cortes in the bottom of the 3rd to regain the lead for Tampa, 3-2.
Cortes did not have his usual command of his cutter and his fastball was tailing over the plate. He had also just faced Tampa last week and it was the 3rd time he’s faced them this month.
“I think facing them 3 times in a month gave them a little bit of an advantage,” said Cortes afterwards. “But if they (his pitches) were better located I could have done the job.”
When Taylor Walls flied out to deep center to end the 4th, Cortes could be seen yelling at himself as he went back into the dugout — throwing his glove down and smashing things.
2. Yanks Tied It 2-2
The Yanks had tied it 2-2 in the top of the 2nd on a 1-out single by Kyle Higashioka and grounds rule double by Marwin Gonzalez. A run would have scored had Marwin’s hit not bounced over the wall. Instead it was 2nd and 3rd, 1 out — and when Joey Gallo struck out on a 3-2 pitch it looked like the Yanks might waste the opportunity.
But Tampa manager Kevin Cash took out Jalen Beeks and brought in Shawn Armstrong — and DJ LeMahieu “ambushed” his second pitch with a big 2-out, 2-RBI single up the middle for a 2-2 tie. The “ambush” line came from Suzyn Waldman on the radio, broadcasting the game with Rickie Riccardo as John Sterling is not doing many road games this year.
DJ ties it up 🤖 pic.twitter.com/FSnhnebSSQ
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 21, 2022
3. Paredes “Ambushes” Schmidt
In the bottom of the 5th, Cortes left after yielding a 1-out single, with Paredes coming up — manager Aaron Boone opting not to have Cortes face Paredes a 3rd time. Instead Clarke Schmidt came in and Paredes “ambushed” his first pitch with a 2-run homer to make it 5-2 Tampa. The “ambushed” was from Suzyn Waldman again — and she explained that’s what you call it when a guy gets a hit off the first pitch of a reliever.
4. The Comeback
The Yanks looked lifeless and dead going to the 9th — up against Tampa’s ace reliever Colin Poche.
But Gleyber Torres — who has been giving this team energy for weeks — led off with a walk and got to second on a passed ball. Two straight outs followed and it looked all but over.
Marwin Gonzalez stepped up and Aaron Judge stepped into the on-deck circle, pinch hitting for Joey Gallo if Gonzalez could get on.
The scene was explained by Ricky Riccardo on the radio and then his voice rose to an ecstatic timber as Gonzalez parked one into the seats in left for a 5-4 ballgame.
And so up stepped Aaron Judge — and on Poche’s first pitch — ripped a deep drive to right that had game-tying home run written all over it — as Riccardo went into an excited home run call — but the ball died and was caught in the warning track for the old ballgame.
The Yankees' comeback bid falls just short as Aaron Judge flies out to deep left field. The postgame show is up next! #YANKSonYES
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) June 22, 2022