So much rain and no umbrella. That has been the story for the Yankees and Mets this year. Too late now to think about a dome, maybe next time they build a new ballpark. With the way teams rip down stadiums and build new ones today (Texas and Atlanta built new ones after just 20 years in what were nice ballparks),
It’s possible we could see a domed stadium in New York in the near future. A retractable roof that when opened, would sit back behind home plate and would keep the natural look and feel of the ballpark’s New York personality. Yea, dream on. But for now, we just have to live with the unpredictability of the weather.
After a delayed start of 1:16 tonight the division leading Yankees squared off against their second place rival Tampa Bay Rays. When I saw that the Rays were going with their open pitching concept for this game where they use bullpen arms for one inning here or two innings there, I was a bit disappointed.
But I have to give them credit for being creative and for actually having a well thought out game plan. Rays starter Ryan Stanek threw 1.1 innings of one hit ball with a mix of 96-97 mph fastballs and 88-86 mph splitters. Then they brought in Ryan Yarbrough who threw 3 innings of 88 mph sinkers and 72-73 mph curveballs also giving up only one hit.
The formula seemed to be working as the Yankees trailed 2-1 after 4.1 innings. But then the analytical deck of cards came crashing down on the Rays.
After Yarbrough was removed with one out in the top of the fifth inning, the Yankees touched righty reliever Chaz Roe for four straight singles, five total in the fifth inning and poof, just like that the genius of the Rays philosophy of how to reinvent the wheel was over with the Yanks taking the lead by a score of four to two.
One interesting thing tonight was seeing how comfortable Travis d’Arnaud looked at first base and especially at bat (single, double and one RBI). I believe the Rays scouting department must have seen something in him and thought that a change of scenery and the American league could bring out the best in him.
And how about Cameron Maybin? With four home runs in four games, what do the Yankees do with him when Aaron Judge comes back? As suggested by my fellow writer Rich Mancuso; “Maybe it’s time to go with one less in the bullpen and keep Maybin available. Those big sluggers could use a rest as we begin to hit those dog days of summer.”
Was there one stand out for the Yankees tonight? Sure, the whole team. Giancarlo Stanton made a spectacular catch against the right field line into the stands, D.D. Gregorious was even more spectacular with a ballet spinning pivot for an inning ending double play in the eighth inning, the bullpen held the lead and oh yea, Edwin Encarnacion got his first hit as a Yankee and yes, it was a blast into the right field bleachers.
So after a long delay and a not so long game that took 3:09 the 40,479 went home with a Yankee hat curtesy of Canon, and a smile as the Bombers moved to 2.5 games over Tampa Bay for the division lead.