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Masahiro Tanaka throwing live BP at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 2020. Photo - Yankees Media Relations

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The Yankees Drop Series Opener to the Rays

FINAL: Yankees 0 Rays 1

WP: Roe (2-0) LP: Ottavino (2-1)

 

The Yankees (9-4) dropped tonight’s series opener by a score of 1-0 to the Rays (6-7) at Tropicana Field. Roe (2-0) got the win for the Rays. Adam Ottavino (2-1) got the loss for the Yankees.

The Rays scored their lone run on a sacrifice fly Perez in the bottom of the eighth to give the Rays a 1-0 lead that they would hold onto through the ninth inning to go on and win this one 1-0, shutting out the Yankees at Tropicana Field.

Tonight’s game was also the first game in which the Yankees offense did not hit a home run.

Pitching Lines:

Masahiro Tanaka: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 59 Pitches, 44 Strikes

Luis Cessa: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR

Adam Ottavino (L, 2-1): 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO

Masahiro Tanaka looked brilliant tonight for the Yankees, going five innings, giving up just one hit, no runs, and no walks. He struck out five over the course of 59 pitches thrown, 44 of which were strikes.

POST-GAME REACTIONS:

Aaron Boone:

Yankees Manager, Aaron Boone met with the media following tonight’s game. Boone stating that the quietness from the offense tonight, stating that it was a combination of great pitching from the Rays and it just being “one of those nights” for the Yankees’ offense. Boone said the Rays area great at preventing runs and that the Yankees had a couple of pitches where they had a chance to do something and missed the opportunity. Boone stating the offense just couldn’t break through tonight. Boone crediting the Rays pitching for doing a great job tonight.

Boone also spoke on Masahiro Tanaka’s five-inning, five-strikeout outing, stating that Tanaka was great on the mound. He was on a 60-pitch limit tonight and was at 59 pitches after five innings, which is why he was pulled out after five tonight. Boone stated that Tanaka’s split was good and his command was excellent. Boone stating his change of pace with the slider, and keeping the Rays off with the fastball, it was another really great step and outing for Tanaka. Boone stating he expected Tanaka to be at sixty-ish pitches by the third or fourth inning, but to be able to go five innings was huge to save the Bullpen tonight.

Boone also spoke on the bullpen tonight, including Luis Cessa and Gleyber Torres, stating that Cessa threw the ball really well to keep the Yankees in it and give them a chance, and that Ottavino was ok, but that the two walks really hurt him. Boone stating that Ottavino pitches well to lefties, but that the two walks came back to haunt him, especially when he lost the zone to Kevin Kiermair.

Boone spoke on Gary Sanchez, stating that he has continued to do a really good job of leading the pitching staff, but that his bat is not quite there yet, but he’s getting some good swings off of opposing pitchers. He’s starting to potentially win some pitches and is getting closer than where he was a couple of days ago.

Boone also spoke about Gleyber Torres’ struggles, stating that he felt like he was a little better at the plate tonight and is getting some good swings off as well.

Masahiro Tanaka:

Masahiro was excellent tonight for the Yankees, going five innings, and striking out five. Tanaka stating the best of today for him was that he had good command of his fastball and all of his off-speed pitches as well. The last outing he stated he had less command and that today he was able to command his pitches very well.

Tanaka stated that tonight his slider was much better than his last outing and that it became gradually better today. The last outing, Tanaka stated he didn’t really have his slider, so he was really cognizant of really executing the slider tonight.

Speaking on the off-night for the offense, Tanaka stated that there’s going to be games where neither team is able to score and that you have to leave this and go into tomorrow and move forward with a positive attitude to the doubleheader tomorrow.

DJ LaMahieu:

DJ LaMahieu also spoke with the media tonight, stating that overall, the offense didn’t have great at-bats and that it was a kind of disappointing night for the Yankees. LaMahieu stating that as an offense they don’t expect to have nights like this and that it’s not acceptable for a team as good as the Yankees are, for the offense to go silent like they did tonight. LaMahieu stating, however, that the Rays are a great team and did a great job holding them off as well.

LaMahieu speaking on Tanaka stated that he did a really great job and didn’t miss a spot tonight, LaMahieu stating that Tanaka really looked like himself tonight.

Overall, LaMahieu stated that the offense needs to bounce back tomorrow.

Adam Ottavino:

Adam Ottavino spoke with the media following his outing, stating that there were a lot of things that frustrated him about this eighth inning outing tonight, stating that he had the first guy where he wanted him and then lost him. Ottavino stating that walking the leadoff guy is unacceptable and that he also through the wrong pitch to Perez, who ended up hitting a sacrifice fly to score the only run of the game for the Rays that would also be the winning run.

Ottavino stating that his command tonight was ok, but that he fell behind Kiermair, and walking two is never great. Ottavino stating that you have to take a night like tonight, learn from it, take the emotion out of it, and work on it and improve in the next outing.

LOOKING AHEAD:

The Yankees and Rays continue their series on Saturday with a two-game, doubleheader. Both games will be seven-innings. It will Gerrit Cole taking the mound for the Yankees in game one of the doubleheader, and then the bullpen will take over in game two for a bullpen game.

Gerrit Cole Press Conference:

Gerrit Cole met with the media prior to tonight’s game to speak about facing the Rays tomorrow. He will be the game one starter.

Cole stated that he has some areas in which he hopes to improve in tomorrow during his outing, including getting ahead of some batters betters, improving his command across the board, and making some better pitches when they get the count leverage.

Cole also stated that he’s not going to approach tomorrow’s game any differently with it being a seven-inning game, stating that he’s going to do his job, but that he does hope he can go the length. Cole stating you always want to outlast your opponent, and that if the score rolls in your favor, you can sometimes benefit from that. Cole stating that as a starter, it’s your job to get as deep into the ballgame as possible, and he hopes he can do that tomorrow.

Tomorrow, on the Yankees original, pre-COVID-19 schedule, tomorrow would have been the Yankees’ much-anticipated old-timer’s day. Cole stated that it’s would’ve been special to put on the pinstripes and witness that, but that he’ll been in pinstripes a while and is sure he’ll get to eventually experience an old-timer’s weekend. Cole stated he hopes to meet Yankees heroes like Paul O’Neill, Mickey Rivers, along with others when he does get the chance to experience old-timer’s weekend.

DOUBLEHEADER TOMORROW:

Tomorrow, as stated above, the Yankees and Rays will play a doubleheader. Game one will begin at 2:10 PM, with game two beginning 30 to 35 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Both games will be seven-inning contests, per MLB’s new protocols for the 2020 season.

Written By

Alexis Farinacci is a baseball beat writer and social media editor for the Pinstriped Prospects. Follow Alexis on Twitter & Instagram: @alexisfarinacci .

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