Sunday, July 31, 2016

After Trading Away Miller, Yanks Lose Fourth Straight, Get Swept By Rays, 5-3

At 9:30 this morning, Andrew Miller was traded to the Cleveland Indian's for a package of four players, highlighted by centerfield superstar prospect Clint Frazier. After receiving the news, the Yankee clubhouse seemed shocked and somber, not ready to avoid a sweep at the hands of the cellar-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays, but that is exactly what happened. Michael Pineda got the start for New York, pitching pretty well but falling to 5-10 with his loss this afternoon. The top prospect for the Rays, pitcher Blake Snell, took the ball for Tampa and dominated the Yankees in this his second time facing New York in 2016.

Young Blake Snell was absolutely filthy early on, striking out five consecutive Yankees between the first and second innings. Pineda, too, would strike out the side in the second, but would load the bases before getting rookie Luke Maile to strike out to end the threat.

After the Yanks loaded the bases and failed to score in the top of the frame, Tampa Bay went on to hit the scoreboards first in the bottom of the fourth. Corey Dickerson began the inning with a single and advanced to third when the next batter Steven Souza Jr. ripped one off of Didi Gregorius's glove for a double. The big star from last night Kevin Kiermaier then grounded out to Starlin Castro, scoring Dickerson and giving the Rays a one run lead. Tim Beckham followed suit with a ground out of his own, a slow bouncer to Chase Headley that scored Souza from third and extended their lead to two. And then in the bottom of the fifth, Brad Miller launched a solo homerun to right that made it a 3-0 contest.

Carlos Beltran retorted with a bomb of his own in the top of the sixth that pulled the Yankees to within one. Ellsbury walked to lead off the inning and then the probably-going-to-be-traded Beltran hit a laser shot off of the rookie for his 22nd homerun of the season.

However,  Tampa Bay would strike again in the bottom of the frame, extending their lead and knocking Pineda out of the ball game. Steven Souza Jr. started it when he smashed his second double of the day with one out. Kevin Kiermaier walked and both runners advance a base when Tim Beckham grounded out to first base. The next batter Luke Maile lined a single up the middle that plated both runners and made it a 5-2 ball game. Luis Severino would take over for Pineda in the bottom of the seventh, with Big Mike departing with a final line of six innings pitched, allowing five runs on six hits while walking four and striking out eight.

The double play ball would once again come back to haunt the Pinstripers as they tried to climb their way back into the ball game in the top of the eighth inning. Starlin Castro began the inning with a single to third-base, advancing to second when Evan Longoria launched the throw over the first baseman's head. Brian McCann followed with a single to left field that scored Castro and pulled the Yankees back to within two. But, the next batter Chase Headley grounded into another double play, the third of the game for the Bonbers, ending the Yankee threat and leaving it at a two run deficit.

Alex Colome came on in the top of the ninth and sat down the Yanks in order, tying the bow on a rough series and then even tougher day for the New York Yankees.

The Pinstripers travel to Queens tonight, as they get ready to begin the Subway series with the cross town Mets tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM ET.

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