Another night, another Yankees win. This team has turned around their misfortunes from the beginning of this month and now find themselves with a four game winning streak. They took the second game of the series tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 and moving their lead to 2.5 games for the AL East crown. The Yankees tossed out JA Happ to start tonights game. The Rays went with the opener route. Let me clarify for the hundredth time… I hate the fucking opener. Dumbest thing going in baseball. It’s right up there with people who try and start the wave. Ban the wave and ban the use of the opener. They are both dumb.
The Yankees scored first blood in the bottom of the first inning. They played some small ball to start the game off and they were rewarded for it. DJ LeMahieu continues to be a stud at the plate. He would score an infield single his first at bat which was followed by a Luke Voit walk. After Aaron Hicks grounded into a fielders choice, the Yankees had runners on the corners with one out. Sanchez would deliver the most underrated play in baseball, the sac fly, to score LeMahieu and put the Yankees up 1-0 early.
The lead wouldn’t last very long. With shaky Happ on the mound he found himself in some trouble in the second inning. He would let up back to back one out singles to Kiermaier and Heredia then let up another single to Mike Zunino which would score Kiermaier from second to tie up the game at one a piece. Happ would limit the damage at that but he would find himself right back into a jam the very next inning. Tommy Pham would lead the 3rd inning off with a double to center. He would come around to score an a Avisail Garcia single and Tampa takes the lead and Happ looks like he’s going to have a rough day. Throwing a lot of pitches and Tampa is making solid contact against him. 2-1 Rays.
The Yankees would trail the Rays 2-1 up until the 5th inning. After Didi started the inning with a groundout to the shortshop, Tampa opted to their bullpen for Chaz Roe. The beginning of the end for the Rays in this game. Gleyber Torres would start off the hit parade with a single, followed by a Cameron Maybin single, the Yankees first half MVP DJ LeMahieu decided to get in on the fun as well with a single of his own. The DJ single scored Torres from second and the Yankees tied up the game. Luke Voit would hit the fourth single in a row for the Yankees and that single would put the Yankees ahead 3-2 as Maybin came around to score. Hicks wasn’t invited to the party as he would strike out swinging on the 8th pitch of his at bat. But Gary Sanchez got in on the fun. He would hit the Yankees fifth single of the inning, sending LeMahieu across the plate and tacking on another run for the Bombers. 4-2 Yankees. Rough night for Chaz.
JA Happ’s night was over after the Yankees obliterated Roe. He finished with a line of 5 IP, 3K’s, he allowed 7 hits and 2 runs. But the Yankees backed him up and he would get the win tonight, improving his record to 7-3 on the year.
Adam Ottavino came in and pitched a dominate sixth inning. Walking one batter but he struck out two. Guy has been pretty lights out as of late. Kahnle would be called to pitch the seventh. He looked like Helen Keller trying to find the strike zone againt Joey Wendle to start the inning and walked him on 5 pitches. He followed that up by giving d’Arnaud a fastball inside that he drove for an RBI double into left field. 4-3 Yankees but it looks like Kahnle is imploding. Luckily the implosion was premature. He would strike out the next two batters and get the third to ground out to end the inning. Meltdown cancelled. Everyone breathe.
The best outfielder in Yankees history led off the bottom of the seventh inning. Who’s the best outfielder in franchise history? Easy. It’s Cameron Maybin. Everyone is blown away that this guy who is not known for his power has hit a homerun in the last three games. Well tonight, he said fuck logic, I’m hitting another one. Maybin absolutely CRUSHED a 2-2 fastball high in the zone. He put this ball into orbit. 429 feet to left field. Absolute moonshot. Four games in a row with a homerun. 21 games in a row the Yankees have hit a homerun. Maybin is just keeping streaks alive all over the place. He ain’t fucking leave folks. Let’s roll with 5 outfielders on this roster and DFA Luis Cessa into the sun and never see that disaster of an arm ever again. Maybin has to stay on this team. There is no other options. If Maybin hits a homerun tomorrow night, I am going to start a GoFundMe to build a statue of this guy on River Ave. 5-3 Yankees.
As we all know, like a thief in the night, Brian Cashman stole Edwin Encarnacion from the Mariners over the weekend. Why did we trade for him? Literally zero idea. But the more power hitting, the better I guess. He didn’t have a spectacular debut yesterday but he made up for it today in the eighth inning. He tacked on an insurance run and in the process, he let that fucking parrot walk. On a 2-2 high fastball, Edwin hit his first homer as a Yankee and his MLB leading 22nd homer of the season. I guess that’s why we got him. Just for him to hit bombs on occasion. This lineup is going to be scary when Judge comes back this week. 6-3 Yankees.
Aroldis Chapman would come in for the ninth inning and slam the door on the Rays. It only took him 12 pitches to record his 19th save of the season. With those 12 pitches he threw, he struck out the side. 1-2-3 inning. No meltdown for Chapman, no sitting on the edge of our seats. Just a nice easy ninth inning and a solid Yankees win.
Side note- Giancarlo Stanton returned tonight and went 0-4. Am I going to panic? No. It’s his first game back in two months. He’ll be okay. Let’s not overreact please.