Yankees: Off To A Good Start In Tampa – Time Now To Amp It Up

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees Closer Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland/AP.

The Yankees did what they needed to last night in Tampa with a win that launches them directly into the chase. Now, it’s time to amp it up.

We can’t say the Yankees played good solid baseball last night – they did not. They were 3-16 with runners in scoring position, and they stranded 11 baserunners. However, the Yankees win a close one against Tampa Bay by a score of 4-3, and as they say, it goes in the books as a W, no matter what.

 Yankees manager Aaron Boone
Yankees manager Aaron Boone

With the win, the Yankees picked up a game in the Wild card race to move with 2.5 games of the Oakland A’s, who lost their fourth straight.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone did what he needed to do as well, holding his breath with the rest of us, using Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman to close out the game, preserving the win.

The axiom in baseball is you go with the horses that brought you here, and while Chapman was a thoroughbred in the first half with 16 saves, his struggles of late have confounded everyone.

While Britton was tenuous at best, allowing the Rays to pull within one run on two hits, Chapman was superb, throwing 12 of his 19 pitches for strikes, with two K’s to notch his nineteenth save of the year.

Yankees: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

For Aaron Boone, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, and while he knew he had to get Chapman back in his game after being intentionally snubbed for ten days from July 6-16, he made the gutsy call, and it played out perfectly.

Moreover, Boone’s decision to remove Jonathan Loaisiga, who was firing 97 mph bullets in a spotless seventh inning in the game, left him exposed for second-guessers if the Yankees had lost the game.

Nestor Cortes - Who Cares About Weird? (Getty)
Nestor Cortes – Who Cares About Weird? (Getty)

As I said, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. The Yankees and Boone will take the win.

Interesting as well is the Yankees’ decision to start Nestor Cortes Jr. tonight.

Following a COVID-induced layoff that began on July 6, Cortes made his next appearance on July 23 in a relief role in a Yankees’ loss this weekend to the Red Sox.

A bit rusty, Cortes gave up three runs on three hits, one of which was a home run.

The assortment of what we usually call “junk” offered by Cortes should be a good match against the Rays,  a free-swinging team that leads the American League in strikeouts (1010).

Yankees: Turning The Page

Following last night’s game, Boone told reporters, “They haven’t lost faith, they haven’t lost confidence,” Boone said. “They have gotten themselves off the mat. They do a really good job of turning the page every day, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela makes all the difference
Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela makes all the difference

The Yankees are buoyed by the return of Aaron Judge, whose single drove in a run, and Gio Urshela, the team’s most consistent player, who collected two hits and two RBI.

The Yankees did, however, continue to shoot themselves in the foot by hitting into three rally-killing double plays (Urshela, Judge, and Gleyber Torres), an inexplicable year-long trend that needs to stop.

Following Cortes, Gerrit Cole (10-5, 2.74) will start the Yankees to wrap up the series with the Rays on Thursday before the team moves on to Miami for an interleague series with the last-place Marlins.

After a dismal outing against the Red Sox, in which he futilely sought to find a pitch working for him, Cole should be pumped up to regain his stature as the ace of the Yankees’ staff.

As Meatloaf says, two out three ain’t bad, but a sweep of the Rays in their home ballpark sure would be sweet…


The Yankees trade of Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named later, while mystifying, clears two spots on the roster, and a few bucks on the payroll.

Who’s the PTBNL is the obvious question. It couldn’t be Sonny Gray – could it?

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Sonny Senomar Lol. It’s just 1 win. Good start though.

Keith Riggs 2.5 out WC. If Seattle loses again tonight and a’s lose again and Yanks win.1.5 out Wild Card! ..I know it will be hard to cheer for the ass-tros but must! Go Diego beat the assletics again! Come on gays beat the suxs! Yanks , take care of business!

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

With this published comments are closed.

Lots of likes and few comments, indicating fans are hopeful but cautious. Probably a good idea.

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Author: stevecontursi

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