Bartolo Colon had his worst start since May 23 against Toronto — and perhaps his worst start of the season — throwing 5 2/3 innings of five-run ball and allowing a season-high 14 baserunners, as the Yankees lost for the fourth time in their last five games, falling to the Rays 5-1. Colon — who’s obviously been superb this season — not only seemed to be missing his spots, but the Rays were also clearly ready for him, jumping all over his four-seamer, which got hammered to the tune of 1.3282 linear weights and only generated one swing-and-miss.
Adding insult to injury for the Yanks, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum the Rays’ Jeff Niemann threw perhaps his best game of the season (however, only third-best by game score), stifling the Yankees over 7 1/3 innings.
While there’s no shame in losing to a team as talented as the Rays, it’s been a bit frustrating just how much of a thorn the team has been in the Yankees’ side over the last season and a half. As you may recall, last year they were one of two American League teams (along with the Toronto Extra Base Hits) to post a winning record against the Bombers, including a 5-4 mark against the Yankees in the Bronx.
For the second night in a row the Yankee bats were silent, cranking out a measly one run on six hits. The team had their chances in the 1st, with runners on 1st and 3rd and one out, and in the second inning, with runners on second and third and one out, but failed to capitalize both times. Derek Jeter led the game off with a double, but — surprise! — grounded out in his final three at-bats. With all the hype on Captain Over-the-Hill’s quest for 3,000 hits, somehow his continuing to lead the world in groundouts and barely being worth more than a replacement player (0.5 fWAR, 0.0 bWAR heading into last night) has seemingly gone overlooked. Of course, it’s not as if his teammates did much better in this one, save Robinson Cano, whose solo home run represented the lone Yankee run scored. If you want to take a positive away from this game, Hector Noesi contributed 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.
The Yanks have plated a measly four runs over their last 18 innings, and have only scored in two of those 18 frames. That’s obviously not going to last, but it has made for a frustrating couple of nights.
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