Home News Yankees must start making grade against Rays after acing easy A’s

Yankees must start making grade against Rays after acing easy A’s

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Apparently the Yankees should have barricaded the entrances to the Stadium and prevented the A’s from leaving and the Rays from entering.

It was Rays 8, Yankees 2 when the opener of this four-game series ended, and Aaron Boone’s Boys remained in last place in the AL East — nine games behind the Rays.

“It’s tough … especially this team is sitting at the top, you want to try to gain some ground on them and get a couple of wins here and keep it close,” Aaron Judge said.

The Yankees had scored at least seven runs in four straight games following their three-game sweep of the Bad News A’s. Boone had seen signs that his team had recaptured the edge that no team with championship ambition can win without.

Then they showed up as the Bad News Yankees against right-hander Drew Rasmussen, who promptly threw seven innings of two-hit shutout ball. Rasmussen has blanked the Yanks across 21 innings in four career outings with 26 Ks.

“We certainly haven’t solved him yet,” Boone said.

Aaron Judge, who struck out three times against Rasmussen during an 0-for-4 night, attempted to explain why they haven’t.

“He was pounding the zone but just still working the edges as well, so you gotta tip your cap,” Judge said, “but we gotta come up with a better game plan in the box and execute.”

Judge and DJ LeMahieu and Harrison Bader had sat in a mini-circle holding a quiet powwow.

Yankees captain Aaron Judge
Robert Sabo

“I think some guys had some good plans,” Judge said, “but it’s just about sticking with it as the at-bat goes on. You’ll foul off a pitch, you’ll miss a pitch and then you’ll kinda get upset … maybe switch off it, and maybe try something different. You gotta have conviction, you gotta stick with your approach, stick with your plan throughout the whole at-bat. When you got nine guys in the lineup doing that, it makes for a tough outing.”

One guy in the lineup doing that would have been nice. Rasmussen employed a dizzying number of quality pitches that kept the Yankees off-balance.

“He’s not just a one-two pitch guy,” Judge said.

Domingo German, who applauded the fans when he left after allowing one earned run over 5 ²/₃ innings, deserved better.

“Those sting … I know how hard he works, the preparation he puts in and to keep an offense like that off-balance, man,” Judge said, “that’s all we’re asking for as an offense is get a couple of zeroes for us and let us go to work. So when we waste an outing like that for Domingo it’s tough, but we’ll pick it up next time.”

It wasn’t only the somnambulant bats that sabotaged the Yanks:

Anthony Rizzo lets a routine grounder eat him up for an unearned run against German in the fifth inning.

Manuel Margot scores on a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning against the Yankees.
Manuel Margot scores on a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning against the Yankees.
Robert Sabo

Ron Marinaccio turns a 1-0 deficit into 4-0 by walking a batter, hitting a batter and surrendering a bases-clearing double to Josh Lowe in the sixth.

Albert Abreu and Ryan Weber were then fellow arsonists out of the bullpen.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

“I don’t know any teams that went 162-0,” Jose Trevino said, “so you just gotta kind of roll with them, and for us it’s how we’re gonna bounce back.”

Were the Harlem Globetrotters 162-0? The 30-9 Rays have had that edge that Boone demands of his team from the start of this season.

“I think it’s critical,” Boone said before the game. “The grind of a 162 eliminates a lot of pretenders, both as teams and as players. It’s a lot of talented players that get swallowed up by that 162 grind, not just physically but the toll it takes on you mentally. There’s an adjustment, there’s a toughness, a grit that it takes in a game of failure that you’re playing every single day.”

For the No Quit crowd, Gleyber Torres singled in a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth against Javy Guerra.

“We got an important one with our ace [Gerrit Cole] going [Friday],” Boone said. “We gotta go get it.”

Better go get it fast. The Rays are not the A’s.

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