Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

New York Yankees impressed with Tampa Bay Rays, not discouraged about sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — The back pages of the New York tabloids may be ablaze today, painting a dire picture of the Yankees' first 0-3 start since 1998.

After all, the Yankees have lost four or more to start the season only twice in their storied history.

But despite getting swept by the Rays, the Yankees aren't pressing the panic button, saying the frustrating series is just magnified more since it's the first one. And don't forget, New York did go on to win the World Series in 1998.

"We're disappointed," starter Phil Hughes said. "But, at the same time, we're not going to act like it's the end of the world."

That being said, the Yankees left impressed with the Rays, who have beaten them seven consecutive times dating to last season.

"They put it on us," outfielder Nick Swisher said. "So we'll remember that."

The Yankees didn't feel as if they were overmatched, saying that they swung the bats well — often hitting right into well-positioned Rays players — and got an encouraging, yet short, outing by Hughes on Sunday.

"They were just a little better, all weekend," first baseman Mark Teixeira said.

Said outfielder Curtis Granderson: "It's one of those things where there's a lot of bounces and we didn't seem to get a lot of them. They got a lot of them, plus the things that they did well on top of that. But baseball is baseball and things are going to turn real quick. Nobody is hanging their heads over here."

What did make the Yankees scratch their heads was how often the Rays used defensive shifts, moving their infielders around for most of New York's lineup, robbing them of at least 3-4 hits on Saturday alone, Swisher said.

"That's a kind of defense I've never seen before," he said. "I don't think anyone has ever seen that, especially to everybody, not just any certain individuals."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said they knew the Rays would be improved, with free agent acquisitions Carlos Peña (two homers, seven RBIs) and Luke Scott providing some pop to support an already stout pitching staff.

"Anyone who thinks this is going to be easy is kidding themselves," Teixeira said. "And it showed this weekend."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Longtime Rays star Evan Longoria was formally introduced in San Francisco today, adding the visual of him pulling on his new Giants jersey, switching to No. 10 since 3 is retired.Longoria said he welcomed the chance to play on a contending team stock...
Published: 01/19/18
What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

ST. PETERSBURG — Since entering an off-season planning major change and pledging to be open to "anything and everything,'' the Rays have made a few minor moves and one massive one in trading franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to San Francisco....
Published: 01/19/18
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Published: 01/19/18
Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 33948Get tickets here: (941) 206-4487Pitchers report: Feb. 13. Squad reports: Feb. 19TEAM SCHEDULE(games at 1:05 unless noted)(ss - split squad)Feb 23 at Orioles (ss) (Sarasota)Feb 23 PIRATE...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Former Phillies and Indians manager Charlie Manuel will receive the Ted Williams Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 10 in Clearwater.The honor is bestowed by the Ted Williams Museum at its annual Hitters Hall of Fame induction, moving this year from ...
Published: 01/19/18
Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Armwood High product Matt Joyce, the current A's and former Rays outfielder, hosts his ninth annual Sweet Swingin' charity baseball camp for kids 6-12 on Sunday at the North Brandon youth baseball complex (2929 S Kingsway Rd, Seffner).Registration st...
Published: 01/18/18
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Published: 01/17/18
A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

With the start of spring training now less than a month away, here is what the Rays roster looks like, with the most glaring hole at first base, which at this point seems likely to be manned by Brad Miller, and some questions about the pitching staff...
Published: 01/17/18