Haves Vs. Have Nots: Yanks Pummel Rays In Game One

July 27, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

The plan was simple. Defend your park, sweep the Yankees, and you’re right back into the race for the AL East title. Unfortunately, the Evil Empire had other plans, destroying the Rays 11-4 in a game that wasn’t even that close.

For Tampa Bay, it was the usual situation that has cost them so many games this season.

Once again, starting pitching failed them and the Yankees were clearly the better baseball team in every facet of the game. Power, superb pitching, and fundamental defense showed for New York at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay lacked all three until late in the game.

By then, the Rays realized the Yankees are not the Jays—there was no chance at a comeback in this one.

New York opened up a 3-0 lead on the Rays in the third inning, getting RBI hits from Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, and a sacrifice by Nick Swisher. The Yankees added to the lead in the sixth with back-to-back jacks by Cano and Swisher.

The Rays got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn’t a beautiful play, as Evan Longoria grounded into a double play, taking the starch out of a possible comeback inning.

A-Rod would get that run back and more in the eighth inning, blasting a two run scoring double to increase the New York advantage to 7-1. Tampa Bay made a little rally in the bottom half of the stanza, getting a sacrifice fly by Carl Crawford and a run scoring single by Ben Zobrist to cut the lead to 7-3.

Facing Rays reliever Brian Shouse, who made his first appearance after spending a while on the DL, the Yankees ended any doubt with the long ball. Swisher hit his second boomer and Johnny Damon added a three-run moonshot to put four runs up in the ninth, making it 11-3.

Pat Burrell would get a who-cares homer in the bottom of the ninth, but the Yankees Nate Robertson would put it away.

Tampa Bay starter James Shields went five and one-third innings, with nine hits, five earned runs, three walks, and two strike-outs.

AJ Burnett went a strong seven innings for New York, allowing only one run on two hits.

For Tampa Bay, that’s truly the difference in last year’s pennant winner and this year’s club. The Rays simply have not gotten the starting pitching they had last season, while the Yankees most certainly are.

As we reach the one hundred game mark, Tampa Bay finds themselves seven and a half games out of the AL East lead, and five games behind Boston for the wild-card. Desperation may be setting in for the Rays, as they simply cannot afford to lose series to the teams in front of them.

Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they face big CC Sabathia in game two. Scott Kazmir tries to get right again on the mound for Tampa Bay.

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