Yankees handle Rays once again as season winds down

by Gary Shelton on September 26, 2018 · 2 comments

in general

Ji-Man Choi is out at the plate after a collision with Gary Sanchez./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Perhaps the odds are catching up to them. Perhaps, now that they have been eliminated, they have taken a collective deep breath. Perhaps the New York Yankees are simply too talented.

Either way, the Tampa Bay Rays suddenly are struggling.

The Rays lost a second straight home game, 9-2, for the first time since early August, and their second straight anywhere for the second time since mid-August. They have had only seven  hits in the two games. They're 2-4 in their last six games.

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Joey Wendle tags out Neil Walker in a rundown./JEFFREY S. KING

“They’ve had good pitching and we haven’t scored more runs than they have," said Brandon Lowe, who had three hits and reached on all four of his plate appearances. "They have swung the bats well and they have pitched really well. There’s a reason they are in the postseason.”

For the Rays, it was a disappointing start for Jake Faria, who was chased in the Yankees' seven-run third. Jalen Beeks came on in relief and gave up a three-run homer.

Faria struggled as the Rays' starter./JEFFREY S. KING

“It was a stride in the right direction, I think," Cash said of Faria. "Jake set the bar pretty high for himself last year and we have to do everything we can to get him back to that comfort, that confidence. That home run to (Adeiny) Hechavarria, that’s going to happen. It was the walk that added to it.”

Cash was asked if Faria was having an issue with his confidence.

“That’d be better for him to answer," Cash said. "I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. This game is tough, it’s been a trying season for him, but he’s going to have other months or other parts throughout his career that he’s going to struggle in. You have to find ways to overcome it. We’ve had plenty of guys who struggle for certain parts and certain halves of the season and then they bounce back. We expect and anticipate that Jake will do that.”

Faria said he was fine physically.

Beeks gave up a three-run homer for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

“Obviously the third inning didn’t go ideally, but physically I felt good," Faria said. "I threw a few changeups to (Neil) Walker that I felt looked pretty good, but there were some good takes on those. Fastball felt pretty good. Slider felt better than it has in a long time. Honestly I felt pretty good.”

Actually, Faria said the outing helped his confidence.

“Yeah, especially getting out of the 2nd inning with a runner on third and being able to get out of that inning scoreless," Faria said. "It’s a confidence boost. It didn’t end ideally, but I can at least go into tomorrow and whatever comes after this knowing that I felt pretty good physically and I had a pretty good feeling for what I was doing out there.”

Lowe was hitting .208 as the Rays entered September but has raised his average 40 points.

The Rays are one game behind the Yankees in their season series. They have two games left against New York. Ryne Stanek will pitch today against Masahiro Tanaka in a 7:10 p.m. start at Tropicana Field.

Willy Adames plays defense for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller September 26, 2018 at 6:37 am

The hitting will come and go but the pitching must be consistent if the Rays are to win. Faria, Beeks and Kittredge are all proving to be unreliable. Having them pitch consecutively is a toxic situation and predictably results in a lopsided loss. Hopefully these are lessons learned for next year.

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Gary Shelton September 26, 2018 at 7:05 am

True enough. But a team has to have more than seven hits in two nights. Right?

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