The Yanks are falling like a lead balloon, now 11 games behind Baltimore and in dead last in the AL East.
At least NY scored 2 runs and brought the tying run to the plate with 2 outs in the 9th, bringing Giancarlo Stanton to the plate as the tying run. He struck out swinging on 4 pitches.
A sign of hope?
“Eflin’s good,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards.”Cutter, sinker. I thought he did a good job of slowing us down with the really slow breaking ball. Cutting and sinking it and using both sides of the plate. Kind of in line with the kind of year he’s had with the good strikeout to walk ratio. He went through us pretty easily.”
The loss came right after the trade deadline expired at 6pm EST — with the Yankees doing not much — just picking up secondary reliever Keynan Middleton from the White Sox and ‘project’ reliever Spencer Howard from Texas. The lack of doing anything significant — either buying or selling — pissed off a lot of Yankee fans on Twitter. And then the horrible loss.
NY drops to 55-52, now 11 behind Baltimore, 9.5 behind Tampa, 3.5 behind Toronto and 2 behind Boston. Tampa improves to 66-44, 1.5 behind Baltimore.
Amazingly, the Yanks are only 3.5 behind a Wild Card spot. Which brings eternal hope.
1. Rodon Rocked
Carlos Rodon allowed 4 runs on 4 hits, including 2 bombs, and 4 walks in 4 innings — leaving after having thrown 97 pitches.
Rodon was the high-priced free agent acquisition of the off season meant to be another ace at top of the rotation joining Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes. But several injuries including a bad back kept him out of the first 3 months of the season, and in his 5 starts so far, he’s not been anything close to an ace.
He had a good start against Kansas City last time out — but they had the worst record in the AL at the time, and this time out it was more getting clobbered against a good team.
In the 2nd inning, he walked 2 batters and allowed a 2-out double to Manuel Margot — a player the Yanks were rumored to be interested in trading for — rumors that trended on Twitter just before the trade deadline.
August is off to a pretty good start. pic.twitter.com/U8L0yziSZY
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 2, 2023
Rodon pitched a shutout 4th and left at 97 pitches.
Carlos Rodón, Filthy 88mph Slider. 😷 pic.twitter.com/YW3khenW9p
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 1, 2023
“I think he was actually 2 to 1 strike to ball,” said manager Aaron Boone about Rodon’s 4 walks. “I think the struggle was that they prolonged at bats on him. I thought he was good at the top of the zone with his fastball but they were able to spoil, spoil, spoil — which led to the few walks. So they kind of out lasted him and they did that by having tough, long at bats against him.”
2. Eflin Off-Speeds the Yanks
The Yankee offense ran into another good pitcher having a good night. This time Zach Eflin — who came in with an 11-6 3.64 record — shut them down.
Eflin used lots of off-speed pitches including an 86-MPH cutter and a 78-MPH curveball intermixed with changeups, sweepers and a fastball that clocked no more thana 93-95-MPH to shut NY down on 3 hits through 6 innings.
Eflin wins to go 12-6 3.46 and now leads the American League in wins. Despite this, Pitching Ninja Rob Friedman nor the Tampa Bay Rays put up a highlight reel of his pitching on Twitter.
3. Yank Bullpen Does Its Job
Hamilton rebounded with a shutout 6th.
Albert Abreu pitched a shutout 7th.
Nick Ramirez pitched a shutout 8th and 9th — 6 straight outs. Another silver lining for NY.
3. Yanks Get Tying Run to Plate in 9th
Tampa brought in Shawn Armstrong who shut out the Yanks with 1-2-3 innings in the 7th and 8th.
The Yankees will not be shut out tonight. pic.twitter.com/xUX68UN8DB
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) August 2, 2023
The Yankees will get the tying run to the plate! pic.twitter.com/P8EtxYi5Tw
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) August 2, 2023
Tampa 5 NY 2 — 2 on, 2 out and the tying run to the plate.
Tampa brought in their ace reliever Pete Fairbanks.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa was due up but the Yanks pinch-hit Giancarlo Stanton.
Fairbanks struck out Stanton swinging on 4 pitches for the old ballgame.
Before the game, GM Brian Cashman addressed the media on why they didn’t do much before the trade deadline: “There were a lot of clubs that we were heavily discussing things with that their intentions were potentially sellers, their teams got hot and they became buyers; so there’s a lot of different changes in the market place. It wasn’t a deep trade deadline in terms of options. When the dust settled, no one was able to pry anything away from us that I felt was more valuable than were we’re sitting in the standings still 3.5 out and having a chance to finding a way to getting it together and taking a shot.”
Cashman ended with the words, “Let’s double down and go for it.”
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) August 2, 2023