Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yankees Hammered By Devil Rays, Really

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays demolished the New York Yankees tonight, beating them 19-6. I'll repeat that: the Devil Rays beat the Yankees 19-6. To be fair, the Rays have been slowly but steadily growing to respectability, but a blowout like this against a team that led for the wild card at the start of the game could not have been predicted by anyone.

The losing pitcher was Randy Johnson. After struggling earlier in the year, he'd had a run of good starts in his last 4 games, including an 11 strikeout game. But tonight he recorded no strikeouts and gave up 9 runs, 6 earned, and a home run in 3.1 innings. Shawn Chacon, who was a starter through the All Star break but is in the bullpen now, couldn't do much better, and neither could any of the other Yankees pitchers.

Every Rays starter got a hit and scored a run, and light hitting Tomas Perez, playing third tonight, managed 4 doubles.

What's telling in the box score is that the Rays outscored the Yankees by 13 runs, but only had 9 more baserunners; they left 13 runners on base while the Yankees left 14. A horrible game for New York.

In Baltimore, the White Sox beat the Orioles again, this time winning 13-11 in a nearly 4-hour slugfest. Every pitcher for both teams gave up an earned run, except Sox lefty Matt Thornton, who only faced one batter. John Garland suffered through a sinus infection during the game and pitched poorly over 5 innings. Since he was sick, it's hard to say whether this was a fluke or he's hitting a slump like every other pitcher on the staff. More concerning was Bobby Jenks giving up a run in the ninth. He came into the game less than 24 hours after his save last night and was less effective in obtaining the same result. The Sox are back on top of the wild card standings by a half game.

The Red Sox also won, beating the LA Angels in 11 innings, and now stand 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees. Naturally, David Ortiz drove in the winning run. I'm not a great believer in the notion of a "clutch" hitter. Ortiz might convert me.

Also aiding the victory was a defensive play by Manny Ramirez. Yes, you read that right. In the top of the 11th, he threw out a runner trying to score from second, holding the tie.

No trades today. The deadline is on Monday.

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