Things keep devolving and deteriorating for the New York Yankees, losing 5-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays, who got a fantastic pitching performance from Alex Cobb but more importantly are at .500 for the first time since April, managing to come back from 18 games under in the same season, something that only three other teams have done.
At 61-61, the Rays might be too late to catch the train into the playoffs. They’re nine games behind the Orioles and still have the Yankees and the Blue Jays to skip over in the AL East. However, with the current form that both Toronto and New York are in, maybe something can be done by the Rays, who’ll have the Wild Card spot to look forward to with 40 games to go in the 2014 season.
The Yankees once again couldn’t get anything going for them, finishing with seven hits on 33 at bats. Brandon McCarthy picked up his second loss of the season, allowing seven hits in 6.1 innings. He did strike out seven, but didn’t get any support from his offense, while Esmil Rogers coming on for him in the end didn’t really help out, as Rogers himself gave up the home run to James Loney.
The Rays had Cobb in excellent form, giving up six hits in 7.1 innings but striking out eight batters, improving to 8-6 this season with a 3.19 ERA. Three of the five runs came from the batter grounding out to a fielder, including Loney himself who finished the game with RBIs, reaching 56 this season after hitting his sixth home run. Evan Longoria, who had an RBI and 1-for-4 at the plate, lacked any sort of patience during the game, seeing only seven pitches coming at him in the performance.
While the Yankees keep talking about somehow making the playoffs, it seems like a disaster waiting to happen the way they’ve been scoring (or not scoring) and especially losing. They’ve now lost five consecutive games, in which they’ve scored only seven total runs, while giving up 28. Right now, it’s hard to point at a single area of this team’s play that doesn’t look like a mess, while Derek Jeter and his farewell tour might be the only thing getting off without criticism.
For the Rays, who seemed like they’re giving up on this season not too long ago, it’s a weird way back up to contention. Still, the history of teams that have made this sort of comeback from 18 games down isn’t exactly successful: None of them, including the Devil Rays from 2004, have made it into the playoffs, as the comeback efforts, making it to .500 for the first time since being 10-10 on April 22, often takes too much out of them.