The Rays came from behind to beat the New York Yankees in grand fashion Friday night, beating up on the Bronx Bombers by a score of 11-5 in front of 26,079 fans at Tropicana Field. The Rays put a halt to their four game skid, while the offense reasserted itself. Since I live blogged the game from section 143, the following recap will be of the game peripherals sort. You can read our blow-by-blow account of the game at our Tumblr page.
- First, it’s not easy to quantify emotions. Besides, I’m no mathematician and I’d rather spend the time dealing with those emotions, rather than assigning an algorithm to them. If I may, the leverage index graph (below, provided by Fangraphs) accurately depicts my emotional state throughout the course of the (almost) four-hour contest.
- Erik Bedard entered the game with a meager task lingering on his shoulders: keep the Rays in the game. He did well in the first, third, and (most of) fourth innings. However, he was tagged for four runs (all earned) in the second — an inning which spelled his fate. Brian McCann led off the inning with a single to center. Yangervis Solarte followed with a single of his own, moving McCann to second. Former Ray Kelly Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice to first, moving the runners up, and bringing Scott Sizemore to the plate. With only one out and danger looming, Sizemore cleared the bases with a hard hit, three RBI double to center. Ichiro Suzuki was next, reaching on a contentious bunt single to third. Despite being called out initially, Girardi came out to dispute the call and the play was overturned, putting runners on the corners with only one out. Brett Gardner reached on the second botched fielder’s choice of the inning, plating the Yankees fourth run, and the captain finally put the inning to rest when he grounded into a double play.
- Bedard almost sailed through the fourth inning, if not for a botched double play. Though I’d call myself a Bedard detractor, the score should have been 3-0 (if not 2-0) when he left the game. The second inning misplays proved costly. Bedard wasn’t great, but he was better than his four run line may have suggested.
- Brad Boxberger came on in relief and was insanely good. Boxberger did what Bedard wasn’t able to, stabilizing things throughout his two innings of work. He allowed Alfonso Soriano and Solarte to reach on a pair of fifth inning walks, though he appeared to be pitching around the two in order to get to Kelly Johnson, who hit an inning ending soft popper to right. Boxberger impressively induced soft contact throughout his 30 pitch (17 strikes) outing. He was optioned back to Triple-A Durham following the game. Joe Maddon acknowledged he was a big reason the Rays won Friday night. I can’t wait to see Boxberger get recalled in the future.
- The Rays were down until the seventh inning when they started to put the clampdown on the Yankees. Overall, Tampa Bay tagged the Evil Empire for 11 runs on 15 hits, including two James Loney and Ryan Hanigan doubles, and a Sean Rodriguez two-run homer in the eighth. Loney ended his night by going 2-4, with four runs batted in. Wil Myers was Myers was 3-4 in RISP situations. Could he be coming around?
- Tampa Bay scored only 14 runs total in their previous three series’. They’ve come back to score 13 runs in their last two games, while going 4-for-8 wRISP last night, and scoring all 11 of their runs Friday night with two-outs. The Rays went 42 innings without a lead until James Loney doubled home two runs in the seventh.
- After a hideous three hit-by-pitch performance, Cesar Cabral was DFA’d by the Yankees.
The New What Next
Chris Archer will face off against Ivan Nova Saturday, when the Rays take on the Yankees in the third game of their current four game set. Nova has been knocked around a bit this season, though the Rays, historically, have had a hard time with the 27 year-old RHP. You can read about the match-up, and so much more, in our series preview.
Rays 4/19/14 Starting Lineup
- With the Rays optioning Brad Boxberger back to Triple-A, left-handed reliever CJ JRiefenhauser, whose 12-letter last name ties Jason Isringhausen for longest in club history, has been called up. Of note, Riefenhauser was the only relief pitcher selected to Baseball America’s 2013 minor league all-star team.
- I absolutely love this tweet by Joe Maddon: