Yankees series against Rays recharge their falling season

Aaron Judge's offensive heroics against the Rays give hope to Yankees.

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In the last two weekends, the Yankees demonstrated to the Rays that they are capable of competing with them. There were seven highly competitive baseball games between the two teams and each of them was fought hard. However, the Yankees failed to capitalize on their strong offensive show solely because their pitching failed to lend credible support.

At Yankee Stadium over the weekend, the Yankees won two games after making comebacks but had to settle for a tie in the four-game series when they fell short in their attempt to rally on Sunday.

The Yankees show mettle despite the defeat

The Yankees were trailing by four runs after playing five innings. But they made an impressive comeback in the remaining innings, resulting in a close 8-7 loss where the game ended with Aaron Judge hitting a fly ball that was caught near the center-field wall.

The Yankees won three out of the seven games they played against the AL East-leading Rays, who currently hold the best record in the majors with 31 wins and 11 losses.

Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees’ starting pitcher, had another poor outing as he gave up seven runs in 4 and 2/3 innings, which increased his ERA to 6.30. In the fifth inning of a tied game, with one run already scored and two outs, Schmidt was taken out of the game with the bases loaded. Reliever Albert Abreu entered the game, but gave up a grand slam to Taylor Walls, giving the Rays an 8-4 lead.

The Yankees gradually reduced their deficit with Judge blasting one in the seventh. Anthony Volpe pounded a two-run homer in the eighth and brought the score to 8-7.

The Yankees hit a total of three home runs during the game, with the first two coming in the third inning, which helped them overcome a 3-0 deficit and take a 4-3 lead. Oswaldo Cabrera hit a two-run homer to make it a 3-2 game, and Anthony Rizzo hit his ninth homer of the season with a runner on base to give the Yankees the lead.

The loss was unfortunate for the Yankees

On Mother’s Day, the crowd at Yankee Stadium, numbering 42,116, cheered loudly during the final play of the game when the Yankees were down to their last out and Aaron Judge hit a high fly ball to deep center field.

Aaron Judge hit two home runs for the Yankees against the Rays at Yankee Stadium on May 14, 2023.

The game between the Yankees and the Rays appeared to be heading for a tie in their latest exciting encounter until Judge’s high-flyer hit was caught.

Harrison Bader said he thought Aaron Judge had hit the ball out of the stadium.

Judge said that he had hit the ball well, but he had hit it too high. He also mentioned that because of how deep it was out there, he was hoping for a miracle.

Jose Siri, the center fielder for the Rays, sprinted towards the warning track and slightly to his left. He then touched the track before reaching out his right arm to check how close he was to the wall. When he was two steps away from the wall, he caught Judge’s flyball which was 399 feet away.

The spectators let out a collective disappointed sound, while Jason Adam, the Rays closer, breathed a sigh of relief on the pitcher’s mound. Additionally, Randy Arozarena, the left fielder, made the gesture of crossing himself.

The series was a big boost for the Yankees

The Yankees lost by a narrow margin of 8-7 and failed to make a comeback, resulting in a split in the four-game series. Although the Rays were in a good position, the series was more significant for the Yankees.

Oswaldo Cabrera commented that it was very close and it demonstrated to everyone that they never give up and keep working until the last out. The Yankees had won the previous two days by coming back from a 6-0 deficit on Saturday, but they were not able to do it again and finished the series with a 3-4 record against the Rays, having played seven games in just 10 days.

Judge said that they are in a good spot and acknowledged that they didn’t intend to just split the series with the Rays, but recognized that they are one of the best teams in baseball. He also mentioned that they fought hard throughout the series.

Out of the seven games played, six of them were won by only one run, including the last three.

During the Sunday game, the Yankees were losing by three runs initially, then managed to take the lead of one run. However, they later fell behind by four runs and tried to come back, ultimately losing the game by just one run.

Anthony Volpe said that he believed that the team never loses belief in the way they’ve been playing.

The Yankees, who had a record of 15-15, have won eight of their last 12 games. Despite being eight games behind the Rays in the AL East, they are in a good position in the Wild Card standings. They have a lot of time, around 4 and a half months, to catch up to the Rays, who currently have a 31-11 record, but are expected to eventually slow down.

In addition, some of the Yankees’ injured players are starting to return. Within the last two weeks, Bader and Judge have made their comebacks. Luis Severino is expected to begin his season next Sunday in Cincinnati, Stanton is close to returning, and Carlos Rodon’s return is also on the horizon.

Aaron Boone said that although it was disappointing that they couldn’t finish the game today, he felt very pleased with the mindset of the group and how they bring it every day.

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