The Yankees Made A Statement In Tampa – Can They Hold To It?

The Yankees took a game from the Rays they had to have last night. But against a team that seems to have their number, can they hold to it…

The Yankees did what they had to do last night with a solid win over their arch-nemesis Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 3-1.

The Yankees had the firepower of home runs by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez (yes, Gary Sanchez). The solid pitching of Jordan Montgomery (six innings, two hits, and one earned run), plus the slam the door in your face Aroldis Chapman to close out the game with his eighth save of the year.

It was written according to the script, lofting the Yankees to three over .500 and a game over .500 on the road.

Yankees On The Precipice Of Something Good…

But will it continue, because it must if the Yankees are going to separate themselves from the Red Sox and Rays this year?

Yankees Gerrit Cole: "I'm ready." (Newsday)
Yankees Gerrit Cole: “I’m ready.” (Newsday)

There are still holes in the armor, though, as the Yankees were 1-7 with runners in scoring position, and Gleyber Torres had his fifth error of the season at shortstop.

The good news for the Yankees is they have Gerrit Cole (4-1, 1.61 ERA) going to the hill tonight.

We can expect that Cole knows the importance of his start to keep the ball rolling, but the impetus to actually make it happen still rests with the offense.

Three runs are nothing to write home about, and it should be noted the Yankees will miss Ray’s best pitcher, Tyler Glasnow (4-2, 2.37), in the series.

There’s been talk about demoting Clint Frazier (.149, 3 HR’s, 6 RBI) to Triple-A Scranton, where hopefully he can figure out what ails him after receiving the left-field job from Aaron Boone during the offseason.

But Frazier is only part of the mix in a team that is still trying to find itself.

The return of Luke Voit (0-4 last night) is expected to help, and despite the emergence of Giancarlo Stanton as a force in the lineup, there doesn’t seem to be the recipe for an explosion that will jettison the Yankees to the top, where they belong and can stay.

Yankee’s Schedule Breeds Possibilities

When you look at the Yankees upcoming schedule, there’s a soft spot after the Rays, with the Baltimore Orioles for three and Texas Rangers for four, and you would think this is the time for the Yankees to fatten up before the White Sox, and Blue Jays come in to face them at home.

Aaron Boone Loves DJ LeMahieu (Photo: Newsday)
Aaron Boone Loves DJ LeMahieu (Photo: Newsday)

But with this Yankees team, we will have to see it to believe it, unlike the cross-town Mets who have reeled off seven straight wins against the lowly Diamondbacks and Orioles to zoom into the top of the NL East.

Starting points for the Yankees will continue until they can prove their series win streak (now at three) is not an anomaly against the Rays.

Series win streaks count more than game-winning streaks because they demonstrate resilience and consistency within a team.

But It All Begins Tonight – Not Yesterday

Gerrit Cole can lock in a series win over the Rays tonight, and that can be a major step forward for the Yankees, but the offense has to follow.

DJ LeMahieu is inching his way back to form,  while Gio Urushela, at .286, has the second-best average on the team. Once he gets comfortable again, Luke Voit will have productive at-bats behind Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

But it has to happen now, even as the season is only six weeks old.

With the prospect of a real 162-game season on the way, the Yankees can’t be looking up and chasing teams ahead of them, and thereby increasing the pressure on Aaron Boone to play his best every day, or not allow for an extra day’s rest for his starters here and there.

Last night was thought to be a jumping-off point for the Yankees with a victory over the Rays, but the real test is yet to come.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Hubie Mercado  Yankees have to keep this pitching staff healthy, in order to stay competitive in the AL East.

Edmund Jones  My question is why isn’t there any chirping about three of our hitters getting plunked last night. Yet crybaby Cash would be sibging uo a storm , like he usually does….

Emil E. Hernandez  Well The Cole Train is on Tonight… Let’s See If The Bats Show up…

Charles Merrilee Langer  Think Positive and hope they can continue to progress like they have in recent homestand and continue on the road trip as well. Go Yankees 👍🏻😊

Peter Sitro  Here is a baseball clue.. it is Mid May and the Yankees didn’t have to win yesterday’s game! The Yankees who post after post of “so-called Yankee fans” had the Yankees season finished after a bad start out of the gate in April, are just one game out of first place in the loss c in mid-May! More important right now than wins and loses is staying healthy and getting guys on track! The Yankee’s pitching has started to shine and when the hitting as a whole gets moving they will start rolling and everything will be ALLRIGHT!!! LOL

 

 

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.