Lessons Yankees must learn to help break Ray’s dominance

The Yankees play the Rays once more Tuesday evening at Tropicana Field, their newest alternative to cease this practice of Tampa Bay dominance that has rapidly come to outline Aaron Boone’s bunch.

“Our focus now turns to the Rays, who obviously have had our number a little bit here over the last several months,” Boone mentioned Sunday, after his membership edged the Nationals, 3-2, to shut out a 7-2 homestand.

“A little bit” may win Major League Baseball’s Understatement of the Week honors. What used to be a fierce, balanced rivalry, for the reason that Rays moved past their early years to grow to be related, has turned more one-sided recently than your mobile phone versus your pager. And it’s awfully troublesome to absolutely purchase into the Yankees’ revival till that snowball stops increasing and rolling.

It’s 16-5, Rays, for the reason that begin of final season, and whereas the collection began getting chippy in 2018, as Tampa Bay arose from a four-year retool, the Yankees gained the season collection in each ’18 (10-9) and 2019 (12-7). This is a post-shutdown phenomenon.

Given how rapidly and intensely this rivalry escalated right into a Rays rout, it’s price recalling the important thing moments that landed the 2 golf equipment right here, for there’s historical past to not repeat on the Yankees’ facet:

Manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees have just a few classes to learn from towards the Rays.

The Big Maple Leaks

On Aug. 9 of final 12 months, at The Trop, the Yankees took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning. A victory would’ve landed them a collection break up. Boone caught together with his beginning pitcher James “Big Maple” Paxton, who gave up a two-run homer to Mike Brosseau after which a game-tying solo shot to Brandon Lowe, and the Rays proceeded to win within the backside of the ninth, the primary of 5 straight Rays collection victories since final 12 months. Given that Paxton hadn’t made it into the fourth inning throughout his first two begins of the season, Boone ought to have lifted him after six frames.

Lesson: Don’t get grasping together with your beginning pitcher.

The Headhunter and the Stable

Nothing looms bigger on this saga than the 101 mph pitch Aroldis Chapman threw behind Brosseau final Sept. 1 at Yankee Stadium, inflicting the dugouts to empty regardless of the COVID protocols. While the Yankees gained that sport, they appeared shaken by the expertise, meekly dropping the collection finale the next evening. Whereas Rays supervisor Kevin Cash created a postgame rallying cry for his group when, furious with Chapman in addition to Boone, he boasted: “I’ve got a whole damn stable of guys who throw 98 miles per hour. Period.” Brosseau after all captured the final snicker when he homered off Chapman in American League Division Series Game 5 at Petco Park to advance his membership in a 2-1 victory.

Lesson: Don’t poke the bear.

The Garcia Gambit

After the Yankees pummeled Blake Snell and the Rays in ALDS Game 1, 9-3, for his or her third straight postseason victory, you puzzled whether or not there would even be a Game 5. Then Boone determined to take Deivi Garcia and J.A. Happ, each of whom had completed the common season impressively, and pair them up in a disastrous mixture for Game 2, a 7-5 loss that tied up the collection and, with Happ failing to cover his unhappiness over the choice, turning the momentum again to the Rays and the highlight on Boone’s course of.

Lesson: Don’t outsmart your self.

Drawing the Ace … and Losing

With Gerrit Cole on the mound April 18 in The Bronx, the Yankees, struggling loads of humiliation the primary two days of the weekend collection, hoped to at the least keep away from a sweep. They couldn’t, as Cole’s protection betrayed him with a important error by Aaron Hicks and the offense tallied solely three hits in a 4-2 loss.

Lesson: Don’t press (simpler mentioned than completed, admittedly).

The Yankees haven’t misplaced a collection since their final Rays assembly. Yet they haven’t a lot as break up a collection with the Rays since 2019. They would take a substantial step ahead on this important season by persevering with the previous run and ending the latter funk. They may, merely sufficient, redefine themselves.

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