New York’s late home runs knock out the Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 17, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Colin Poche gave up six runs and got only five outs./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

By now, it is well established that the bullpen of the Tampa Bay Rays is little more than a series of brushfires.

All that changes is the guy holding the match.

It happened again Tuesday night. The Rays were rolling along, playing in a tight game against the New York Yankees, and then came the cave-in. This time, the reliever was Colin Poche, who gave up six runs on homers to Aaron Judge (a two-run shot) and Didi Gregorious (a grand slam) in an 8-3 defeat.

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Beeks allowed two hits in 3.1 innings./JEFFREY S. KING

The bullpen continues to be the major difference between the early success of the Rays and the recent mediocrity.

Rays' manager Kevin Cash thought the key for the Yankees was seeing too much of Poche's fastball.

“Probably because they just saw too many of them," Cash said. "You look at the at-bats. They just had a lot of lengthy at-bats. That’s probably going to be his M.O.  for a while until he develops an off-speed pitch. You’ve got to credit the hitters.  They fouled off some big pitches and then had a couple of blasts against him."

The Yankees, frankly, are blasting against a lot of pitchers. They've hit seven homers in two nights.

“The command of it wasn’t there," Poche said. "The leadoff walk is never a way you want to start the inning, especially against lineup like that. I kept missing spots and they kept pulling good swings on pitches. I fell behind some spots.With that lineup, you're going to give up some home runs, but you can't   walk the leadoff hitter."

Willy Adames had three hits and Yandy Diaz had two for the Rays. Judge and Edwin Encarnacion (who also homered) had two for New York.

The Rays fell six games behind the Yankees in the AL East.

Tampa Bay will try again tonight at 7:05 at Yankee Stadium. Yonny Chirinos will pitch against Domingo German, who is 11-2 on the season.


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