Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays open a three-game series Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. The Rays are striving for the Red Sox with just one game in the AL East as they prepare to host the Yankees. New York lost their last match in a heartbreaking way against their bitter rival Boston. They now sit 9.5 games left in the division.
From no-no to heartache
Domingo German was a man obsessed Sunday night. He retired from the Red Sox left and right and was on his way to the Yankees’ second no-hitter of the season. With the German on fire and the Yankees leading 4-0 at the bottom of the 8th, there seemed to be nothing stopping the pinstripe train. However, Alex Verdugo and the Red Sox had different plans. Verdugo opened the 8th with a gut-wrenching double that ended Germany’s no-no bid. As the 8th inning continued, it would turn out that the lack of a no-hitter was only the beginning of New York’s misery. Boston continued to run five races in inning after Aaron Boone pulled German after the Alex Verdugo double. The Red Sox shut things out in the 9th round and won 5-4. The collapse threw New York further down the ranks in the AL East and kept Boston’s first place intact until further notice.
Jordan Montgomery gets the start of the Yankees Tuesday night. He leads a 3-5 record into this one with a 3.96 ERA. He knocked out the light in his most recent action and allowed zero-earned runs over 5.2 innings against the Red Sox. Unfortunately for him, the Yankees lost 5-4 and he missed out on winning a win. In his final start against the Rays, Montgomery threw 6.1 strong innings and allowed only one run in a 4-3 Yankees victory.
The Yankees have had an abundance of injuries this season, but Covid-19 has played a key role in hurting the Yankees this month. Aaron Judge was the main name that was side by side with Covid. According to ESPN.com, Judge is expected to be activated when this series starts Tuesday night. The referee is the Yankees’ best hitter in 2021, so getting him back in the lineup should trigger a lineup that has bubbled up. The Yankees are 16-18 this season against left-handed starters as they prepare to face a South Paw Tuesday night. According to Fan-graphsThe Yankees are in 6th place in home runs against leftists (45) and 16th in RBIs (121).
Rays miss the sweep
On the way into Sunday’s series final, the beams shot at all cylinders. They were ready to sweep Cleveland and win their 6th game in a row. Sunday’s competition, however, was a close-fought battle that Cleveland wanted more as the tribe continued to win 3-2. The Rays’ newcomer slugger, Nelson Cruz, hit a moon shot to midfield in the 6th inning, giving Tampa a 2-1 lead. Later, Matt Wisler would come out of the bullpen for Tampa and give up two earned runs in the 8th round. These runs would end up sealing the Rays’ fate on Sunday afternoon. Matt Wisler took the loss as the Rays did not come to sweep the series. They remain a game back from Boston in AL East and have a 60-40 record.
Shane McClanahan gets the starting nod to the rays in this one. The left-hander is 4-3 with an ERA of 3.88 over 14 starts this season. McClanahan was excellent in his most recent start and allowed only one earned run across five innings versus Baltimore. He earned his 4th win of the season as the Rays continued to win 9-3 at home. His first and only start against New York came against the same opponent he faces Tuesday night. McClanahan gave up all four runs, it took the Yankees to defeat the Rays in one as he took the loss in the 4-3 defeat.
With the addition of Nelson Cruz, this Rays team has become even more of a threat in AL East. At the age of 41, Cruz has hit 21 home runs and beaten a total of 52 RBIs as DH in 2021. He is back to be teammates with Mike Zunino leading Cruz and the Rays when he turns left this season . Zunino has mashed 9 home runs against Southpaw this year, all while having a 0.324 stroke average against them. The Rays are 23-17 when the opposite starter is left-handed this season.
Tampa Bay is:
- 13-5 as home favorite between -125 and -175 this season