Monday, December 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Yankees use five-run inning to further weaken Rays' fading playoff hopes (w/video)

NEW YORK — Once the Rays got past all the novelty Monday about playing as the home team in the Mets stadium against the Yankees as a result of being relocated from the Trop due to Hurricane Irma, they got down to playing what was an important baseball game.

And that didn't go very well, the 5-1 loss to the Yankees further weakening their slimmer-by-the-day chances to get into the American League playoff field, as they dropped to 71-74, and to four games — and six teams — back of the second wild-card.

Playing as the home team before a crowd of 15,327 loudly backing the "visitors,'' the Rays took a 1-0 lead in the second when former longtime Met Lucas Duda drew a walk and scored on a two-out triple by Adeiny Hechavarria.

But the Yankees took control with a five-run fourth inning, taking advantage of several Rays mistakes.

"We lost the game in one inning,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "The fourth inning was the game, basically.''

Starter Jake Odorizzi made the first and the last, allowing a four-pitch leadoff walk to Aaron Judge that led to the tying run, then six batters later a three-run homer on a full-count slider to Todd Frazier.

In between were two errors with two outs that extended the inning.

"The fourth inning, I don't know if I've ever seen anything like that,'' Cash said. "Leadoff walk ended by a three-run homer with a lot of mess in between there. Jake threw a lot of pitches that inning; the error didn't help. The catcher's interference didn't help.''

The more egregious error was by Trevor Plouffe, starting at third so Evan Longoria could have a DH day, trying to backhand a fairly routine grounder, allowing Gary Sanchez to score from first and Matt Holliday to reach second.

"I went to backhand it it just went under my glove,'' Plouffe said. "It's a play I make 99 out of 100 times. It's something I worked hard to be is a good defender who makes those routine plays and I just didn't make it tonight.

"No one feels worse about that than I do. You can't give a good team extra outs like that. Nothing I can do about it now but move forward. It's unfortunate. I feel terrible about it. It's definitely a play that needs to be made.''

Then Wilson Ramos contributed with a catcher's interference call that put Jacoby Ellsbury on base, for a major-league record 30th time that way.

"That's on us,'' Cash said. "I don't know what else we can do other than to continue to remind whoever is catching to back up a little bit.''

That brought up Frazier, who crushed a 3-2 Odorizzi slider over the leftfield fence.

"It was a good pitch, he put a good swing on it,'' Odorizzi said. "A 3-2 count, didn't want to walk him. It was a quality pitch, he just went down and got it. At that point there's a lot of pitches thrown prior to that.''

Odorizzi lasted two more batters in what ended up a bad night, even though only one of the runs was earned. He worked 3-2/3 innings, allowing the five runs on three hits and three walks, striking out five while throwing 94 pitches total.

As much as he tried to treat it like a normal start, Odorizzi said it quickly became apparent that being the "home" team in New York would be different.

"Just the fact of getting booed as soon as I stepped out to go on the field, that's a weird kind of a thing,'' he said. "But pretty much anywhere u go there's going to be Yankees fans, especially here.''

The Rays made another costly mistake in the third, getting their first two on then with one out and Longoria up pulling off a double steal, though Kevin Kiermaier over-slid second and got tagged out when his hand came off the bag, and they ended up getting nothing out of the promising opportunity.

"These guys that have that elite speed like KK, a couple guys on their team, when you slide over the bag, it's tough to stop the momentum,'' Cash said. "That's a big play. We have to avoid that from happening. That changed that inning quite a bit."

The rest of the Rays didn't do much at the plate, rapping just eight hits overall and striking out 12 times against Yankees starter CC Sabathia — who was curiously pulled by manager Joe Girardi in the fifth after 88 pitches — and relievers David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman.

Cash called the strategy of pulling Sabathia "brilliant" before he went through the lineup a third time and said the Rays will look do that at some point again.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow @ TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 10:30: In addition to the Cardinals, the Rockies and Mets are considered hot in pursuit of Rays closer Alex Colome. …. Keep hearing the Angels as a potential landing spot for 3B Evan Longoria if the Rays deal him. … Rays manager K...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Rays officials head to Disney for this week’s winter meetings admitting they don’t know what they’re doing. Wait — that’s not exactly right. It’s more that they don’t know what they’re going to do.Having spent months collecting info and discussing op...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17
Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

NEW YORK — In one sense, there was nothing unusual about what Dwight Gooden was doing Tuesday night. In the spirit of the holiday season, he had been summoned to dress like Santa Claus and, as a result, was decked out in a red suit and hat, a curly w...
Published: 12/08/17

Rays sue outgoing concessionaire over "sad history" of failures

The Tampa Bay Rays sued outgoing concessionaire Centerplate in U.S. District Court on Friday, alleging the company harmed the team’s reputation, damaged its facilities and did not pay a fair share of revenue as part of a "sad history of failing to fu...
Published: 12/08/17
Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani decided on his team Friday, and it was something of a surprise as he opted to sign with the Angels.The Mariners and Padres had emerged as the favorites from the seven teams that were chosen, from the full fiel...
Published: 12/08/17