Game 161: Yankees 3, Rays 5

Russell Martin got the Yankees on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a solo homer.  The Yankees had a chance to take the lead as Brett Gardner drew a walk and stole second.  With two outs, the Rays intentionally walked Cano.  Alex Rodriguez walked to load the bases, but Mark Teixeira flew out, ending the threat.

The Yankees rallied again in the top of the fifth as Gardner and Nunez hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners.  Curtis Granderson hit into a double play, but allowed Gardner to score, tying the game at 2-2.  The Pinstripes continued their rally in the sixth, as Rodriguez worked another walk and Teixeira doubled.  A RBI double from Nick Swisher put New York ahead 3-2, but once again they missed a chance at extra runs.  Jorge Posada was intentionally walked, loading the bases with no outs.  Martin followed with a grounder to third, which turned into the perfect triple play ball as Longoria fielded it while standing on third and sent it around the horn to end the inning.  It was the third triple play in Rays history.

Colon pitched into the sixth inning, but was replaced by Cory Wade.  Rafael Soriano came into the game in the seventh inning and promptly walked Upton and Longoria.  Matt Joyce followed with a big three-run homer and the Rays retook the lead.  The Yankees went down in order in the eighth and ninth, giving Tampa Bay a 5-3 win.

Bronx Cheers:
Rafael Soriano: Soriano had trouble right from the start, despite being on his old home turf.  He gave up three runs on two walks and a hit, before settling down and finishing the inning.

Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 0-4 and stranded three runners.  He managed to get one run in, but hit into a double play in the process.

Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada: Cano and Posada both went 0-3 with a walk.

Curtain Calls:
Bartolo Colon: It wasn’t the best outing, but it was an improvement over his last few games and was enough to have the Yankees in the lead when he was pulled from the game.  In 5.1 innings, Colon gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks.  He had three strikeouts, picked off a runner and also had an throwing error.

Mark Teixeira and Eduardo Nunez: Both went 2-4 and were the only Yankees to have multiple hits.  Teixeira had a double.

Brett Gardner: Gardner was 1-3 with a run scored, a walk and his 49th stolen base of the season.

In the On Deck Circle:
As I am writing this, the Yankees have yet to pick a starter for the final game of the season.  David Price will be starting for the Rays – so I would be very nervous if I was a Red Sox fan…luckily I am not.

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help.

22 thoughts on “Game 161: Yankees 3, Rays 5

  1. jay_robertson

    fwiw, in a real game, pretty sure Colon would have been left in longer – his pitch count was still low, and he looked as good (or bad) as he had all night. I think it was more a case of wanting to get his "A" relievers a bit of time, and saving Colon in case he's needed.

    Let's hope we don't face the Rays in the ALCS – if we do, let's leave Soriano off the roster. He seems unable to keep from serving his old buds pitches flat down the middle of the plate. His home run serving looked almost as if Joe had called it from the dugout.

    I KNOW – we're supposed to lose. But watching the game, I just hope Cano and Granderson remember what they're paid to do when the time comes.

  2. mikeNicoletti

    So, as unlikely as this seemed a month ago, this probably assures AJ as the number 4 starter with colon as the long man, right? Bartolo was very successful at this in the beginning of the year, and you could see him as a long man and caddy for Bad AJ. Bad AJ assuming Good AJ is still in there somewhere?

    • chad

      i think you give AJ the start with a short leash. i think you give him the shot because good AJ is better than Colon (or hughes or most anyone for that matter). then you have hopefully both Colon and Hughes available if/when bad AJ shows up. although having both of those guys available is probably contingent on Garcia throwing a good game 3, which certainly is no guarantee.

      • LarryAtIIATMS

        Chad: http://bit.ly/b8zppY. Just saying.

        • chad

          no doubt. "short leash" is definitely often used as a metaphor for "guy you don't trust".

          although i think that specifically in AJ's case the label is a bit more appropriate, due to his propensity for cruising along for a few innings and then imploding in the next.

          i don't think anyone truly trusts AJ, especially to throw 7-8 quality innings. but if you reduce that target to 4-5 innings (i.e. "shorten the leash"), i think the trust factor grows exponentially.

        • John

          Larry I think you are the only person I know that can respond to question by linking to one of your own articles. It's a pretty special talent in my opinion.

          • LarryAtIIATMS

            All I can do is to give you a thumbs up and wonder whether I just received a backhanded compliment or a really good poke in the ribs!

          • John

            :-) It would be really nice to see a NEW Larry article soon. I'm sure we all miss your posts Larry.

  3. chad

    i'm far more worried about Teixeira and Swisher. i don't see the Yankees winning any championships this year if those two continue their postseason struggles.

    • jay_robertson

      Not to mention the lack of production lately from A-Rod, Cano, and Granderson. Hate to hit the post season counting on Jeter and Jesus to save us.

      • mikeNicoletti

        There has been countless articles written over the past few years showing very little correlation to how a team is playing going into the post season and the way it plays IN the postseason. Every player with a pulse is going to have his fuse lit by the bright lights of the postseason, and the production of those players over the last 162 games is way more meaningful than the last 10. Cheer up Jay, we're going to the postseason with the best offense in baseball, have a little faith! You're starting to sound like a red sox fan ;)

        • jay_robertson

          Like I said – this is one case where an L is a welcome sight – but at the same time, everything that is done or not done to earn that L makes me nervous.

          If I was all cocky about the team – THEN I'd be a Red Sox fan.

          • mikeNicoletti

            To clarify, red sox fans aren't eternally cocky, they are frontrunners. In the offseason and when in first place they are cocky, but when they are 2nd place or worse, boston sports radio sounds like a cavalcade of people that should be put on suicide watch who hate their team. They aren't cocky as much as bipolar. I've lived in new england my whole life, and it has annoyed me the entire time.

          • Living in red sox country I can say that Boston fans have sounded downright defeated for a while now. You would think they had no chance at the postseason – and that was when they were still up a few games!

          • mikeNicoletti

            Exactly

      • A-Rod has me worried the most. Granderson has had his quiet spells, but seems to wake up out of them. Teix has shown signs of life, just not consistency. Cano never worries me… But A-Rod has been quiet and is clearly hurting. You can tell by the way he runs (or doesn't). Last night as I was watching him hobble around I was wondering what surgeries he will be having once the season ends.

        • jay_robertson

          'fraid you're right, there. Not so much which surgery, but how many and how serious.

          That said – why is it a pitcher can have surgery and be knocked out for two years – that's ok. But a position player – if he misses half a season its like the end of the world…

  4. bigbossman28

    Last nights game was a setup. A triple play with bases loaded? Throwing a fastball over the heart of the plate with 2 on and no outs? Tex not scoring from second on a double by swish? Wake up people, MLB is trying to give us a preview of the upcoming expanded postseason with two wildcard playoff games to get us on that bandwaggon

    • Enigma

      While I am not totally buying in to the idea that the league was in on a setup to promote the potentially new playoff format, I have to admit when Tex didn't score from second on a double I certainly started wondering if the Yanks were making a true effort to lose the game. Not really upset about it since, (1) would prefer that the Rays beat out the Red Sox, and (2) each of them having to play all out and not be able to rest players hopefully leaves them worn out for the postseason (too bad we can't face either in the division series).

      • Andrew

        Hard to argue that Martin's GITP was intentional given how hard he tried to beat it out — even sliding headfirst into first base.

        • bigbossman28

          True, but the likelyhood of hitting the ball exactly where longoria needed it to be hit in order to get a triple play is astronomical if it wasn't intentional

          • mikeNicoletti

            So, in your opinion, Martin tried to hit the ball to longoria? MLB sent a message to the yankees that they had to throw the game? There are only two logical explanations to your theory: You are being completely facetious and i don't get it, or you are writing this from the basement of whatever building you stay in wearing a aluminum foil hat to protect you from the government spying on your thoughts.

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