Tampa Catches Every Break in Beating Yankees, 3-1

“Some games it seems you’re not supposed to win,” said John Sterling on the radio. “Every little thing goes against you.” Like:

  • An umpire that was not calling strikes for Gerrit Cole on the outer part of the strike zone all afternoon.
  • A bloop fly that just evaded all three Yankee fielders and plopped on the white foul line for a double.
  • A chopper down 3rd that went for an RBI single in the 8th.
  • And the biggest reason: old friend Corey Kluber escaping early trouble and settling down to pitch 6 innings of 3-hit ball.

Tampa 3 NY 1.

The Yankees fall to 33-14, still the best record in baseball, and still playing over .700 ball. Tampa improves to 27-19, 5.5 behind the Yanks.

1. Cole Pitched Like an Ace

At least Gerrit Cole pitched like an Ace. 6 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 10 strikeouts. 3 walks. “I thought his stuff was electric tonite,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Even his misses were just off. I felt he was really dottin’ up most of the night.”

Cole was throwing 100 MPH fastballs that were unhittable.

Cole would have pitched better than that if home plate ump Edwin Moscoso had been calling strikes on the outside part of the strike zone as strikes all afternoon instead of balls. Cole got SQUEEZED several times on the day — to his visual displeasure and corroborated by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio.

The most harmful non-call came in the 6th with the Yanks up 1-0. Cole struck out Ji-Man Choi with a 98-MPH fastball to end the inning. But no — it was called a ball so Choi went to 1st base.

Here’s the ESPN heatmap:

Cole, visibly upset, walked the next batter Wander Franco on 4 pitches — although he said later it was partly by design — then allowed a little bloop single to left by Randy Arozarena for the 1-1 tie, before getting Manuel Margot to end the inning.

“That was a strike,” said Cole afterwards about the pitch to Choi. Cole said the 4-pitch walk to Franco was semi-intentional, saying they knew they had 2 right handers coming up, and “if chips didn’t fall early for Franco, then we’d just go get the right handers.”

Cole did get a good defensive play behind him from Aaron Judge in centerfield in the 1st.

2. Luetge Snake Bit

In the 7th, Lucas Luetge came on and allowed a leadoff single to Kevin Kiermaier, and then the little bloop by Francisco Mejia that escaped Joey Gallo, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres converging on the area — and plopped on the white foul line for a double.

Luetge got a grounder to short, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa came home for an out to make it 1st and 2nd, one out! A groundout made it 1st and 3rd, 2 outs — but Yandy Diaz hit a slow chopper down 3rd that DJ LeMahieu had no real play on — and it was 2-1 Tampa.

3. King Hit Again

Michael King came in for the 9th and allowed a leadoff triple to Wander Franco — then got a groundout to not allow the run from scoring — but then a single by Margot made it 3-1 Tampa. King got a double play to end the inning but damage was done.

4. The Yankee Run

The Yankees jumped on top of Corey Kluber in the top of the 1st. DJ LeMahieu ripped a double off the top of the left-field wall — just missing a homer. Then Aaron Judge singled him to 3rd, and Anthony Rizzo hit a sac fly for a run.

Kluber was missing his spots early, but then quickly settled down and shut the Yanks down thru 6. The Yanks didn’t muster anything against Tampa’s pen of JP Feyereisen, Jason Adam, and Colin Poche.

The Boxscore




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