Yankees 9, Rays 3
The New York Yankees know their success is with their offense and it was on full display when they took down the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. Their lineup, one through nine, is the deepest in the playoffs as anyone can hurt opponents with one swing of the bat. Seven of their nine runs would come by the long ball. Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka, and Aaron Judge hit solo homers but the big blow came in the top of the ninth when Giancarlo Stanton put the game on ice with a grand slam to dead center.
Gerrit Cole wasn’t perfect but he was good enough as he tallied a quality start. The bullpen did their job to give the Yankee bats the chance to extend the lead. With their ace on the mound, many would have called it a must win for the Yankees. Cole and the lineup did its job as they grab the lead in the best of five series.
Anytime a team records 15 hits and nine runs, they should expect to win. It also is usually a team effort. Every player in the starting lineup recorded a hit. Four of those hits left the yard with Luke Voit hitting the only other extra-base hit, a double to right-center field. With those nine runs, their average runs per game in the playoffs actually drops to ten runs per game. That will be hard to beat.
The power numbers are nothing new to expect when talking about the Yankees bats, but if they get this kind of contribution, they will be tough to beat.
Choi Takes Cole Deep Again
If the Rays knew Ji-Man Choi’s secret to hitting Gerrit Cole, they would certainly hope he would share it with the team. Entering Monday’s game, he was hitting .529 with three homers, three doubles, and eight RBI against him. He added to that total with his fourth inning two-run homer to left-center field. A puzzled Cole even was asked to intentionally walk Choi in his next at-bat. Something Gerrit Cole isn’t asked to do very often. The Rays hope the healthy Choi can continue to hit the Yankees pitching and provide some power in the middle of that lineup.
Boone’s Bold Decision Pays Off
Aaron Boone had a tough choice of who to go with in left field for Game One. He decided to go with the power right-handed bat of Clint Frazier instead of the veteran Brett Gardner. Frazier did not disappoint when he was able to stay on top of a high fastball and drive it out of the park for a Yankee 2-1 lead. The Rays did not expect to have trouble with Frazier and Higashioka who both would homer off Blake Snell. Brett Gardner figures to be back in the lineup the next couple of nights with the Rays throwing right-handers in Game Two and Game Three.
The Rays and Yankees play Game Two of their best of five series on Tuesday night at 7:10 Eastern. Tyler Glasnow will get the ball in game two to try and even the series up for the Rays. The Yankees will counter with highly touted rookie Deivi Garcia as they try and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
There could be some fireworks in Game Two, and it has nothing to do with strikeouts an home runs. With the game out of hand in the ninth, two different Yankee hitters were forced to hit the dirt. Gleyber Torres also stole second with two outs in the ninth while up by six runs. Both teams may be a little upset with those two actions. Stay tuned to see if anything ensues in Game Two.
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