New York Yankees 'Aaron' it Out Against the Tampa Bay Rays

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The New York Yankees played the Orioles close in their last series until finally breaking through with a win in the final game. Heading home to New York for the first time in 2017, they looked to get some revenge on the Rays who beat them last week, 2 games to 1.

Game 7: Monday April 10th, 2017

Tampa Bay Rays (Game 1)

Pineda came into today’s game hoping to string together wins for the first time this season. He came out hurling the ball and mystifying the Rays’ bats with his devastating slider. Perfect through six and two-thirds innings, his slider accounted for the majority of his 11 strikeouts. Evan Longoria scorched a 2 out double in the top of the 7th to end the perfect game, but Pineda came back to strike out second baseman Brad Miller to end the inning.  The offense got going in the bottom of the 3rd when Gardner led off with a hit and Ellsbury doubled him home. In the 4th inning, Aaron Judge hit his second home run in as many games. Headley launched a solo HR to lead off the 7th. The floodgates opened in the 8th inning when Gardner reached on a throwing error then stole 2nd and 3rd base before Holliday doubled him home. Even Chris Carter got in the act with an RBI triple and Starlin Castro put the cherry on top with a 2 run shot.

*Injury news: Gary Sanchez’s MRI came back revealing a grade 1 strain of the brachialis and is expected to miss 4 weeks.

*Other news: Jordan Montgomery has been announced as the Yankees 5th starter and will pitch in Wednesday’s game.

Everyone’s Hero: Michael “Practically Perfect” Pineda goes 7.2 IP, giving up 2 hits, 1 run and struck out 11 in the Yankees home opener!

Damn Yankee: Austin Romine went 0-4 and struck out 3 times on a day that everything seemed to go the Yankees way.



Game 8: Tuesday April 11th, 2017

Tampa Bay Rays (Game 2)

Jordan Montgomery gets his first major league start along with minor league veteran Kyle Higashioka. Facing a lefty in Snell, Girardi didn’t do Montgomery any favors by trotting out the right-handed heavy‘B’-team, leaving team RBI leader Torreyes on the bench in favor of light hitting Pete Kozma. After striking out the first two batter, Montgomerey walked Longoria and gave up his first hit and runs when Rickie Weeks Jr homered. Welcome to the big leagues! ‘Monty’ settled down after that and pitched well into the 5th inning where he gave up a lead-off double. But he promptly struck out Kiermeyer and battled Longoria through 10 pitches before finally striking him out. Throwing 89 pitches and striking out 8 over four and two-thirds innings, he had a decent debut for the Yankees. In the bottom of the 5th, the Yankees put together a rally by loading the bases on a hit (Headley), walk (Judge) and error (Higashioka). Then Kozma and Ellsbury did their best to kill the rally by flying out to an infielder. Thankfully 2 more walks by Hicks and Holliday plated them two runs to put them in striking distance. In the bottom of the 6th inning they broke the game open on 4 runs off of 4 singles and the second Tampa error of the game. The final blow came in the 7th when Aaron Judge got jammed inside but he still muscled the ball to monument park for a 2 run home run.

*Fun Fact: Jordan Montgomery is the first Yankee to make MLB debut as a starter and strike out the first two batters he faced, since Mariano Rivera on May 23, 1995!

*Injury News: Brett Gardner collided with first baseman Rickie Weeks and left the game with a bruised jaw and sore neck.

Everyone’s Hero: Aaron Judge continues his hot streak with his 3rd HR in 3 games while driving in 3 RBI’s.

Damn Yankee: Matt Holliday couldn’t get anything going, as he went 0 for 4 with a walk.



Game 9: Wednesday April 12th, 2017

Tampa Bay Rays (Game 3)

Luis Severino looked to secure his first win since 2015 and the Yankees looked for their first sweep of this year, playing the final game of this series. After Aaron Hicks delivered a solo shot in the bottom of the first, the Yankees offense struggled to get anything going after that against Tampa pitcher Andriese. Severino, however, outdueled his Tampa counterpart by scattering 2 runs across 7 innings while striking out 11 batters! Despite his great performance when he left the mound, down 2-1 in the 7th, he was in line for yet another loss. With 1 out, Ronald Torreyes reached first on an infield single to set up Aaron Hicks’ second home run of the game to give them the lead. Betances came in for the 8th inning and even though the Rays threatened with runners on first and third with no one out, Betances came through with consecutive K’s followed by a groundout. Chapman dominated in the 9th for the save.

*Fun Fact: Aaron Hicks was the first Yankee to hit a Home Run from both sides of the plate since Mark Texiera did it in 2015.

*Injury News: Brett Gardner is day-to-day from the injury he sustained in the previous game.

Everyone’s Hero: Switch-hitting Aaron Hicks provided all the offense by accounting for 3 RBI’s with his 2 HR’s, one from each side of the plate!

Damn Yankee: Greg Bird, back from injury/flu-like symptoms, looked lost at the plate going 0 for 4 with 3 K’s, leaving 3 men on base.



Series Re-Cap:

  • Yankees Win Series 3-0
  • Yankees MVP: Aaron Judge - .400 avg, 2 walks, 2 HR's, 4 RBI's and solid defense.
  • Best Team Stat: Starting Pitching - 29K’s in 19.1 IP
  • Worst Team Stat: Offense - 45 Runners Left on Base
  • Run Differential: +12 (19-7)

The New York Yankees complete their first sweep of the season against division rival Tampa as their starting pitching dominated. Even though they rolled out their 3, 5 and 4 starters (respectively) they all pitched with ‘ace’ worthy stuff by shutting down the Rays offense and limiting contact with a flurry of strikeouts.

After opening the season on the road with a 2 and 4 record, the Yankees have climbed to a game above .500 as they welcome the struggling St. Louis Cardinals to New York for a 3 game series.