Yankees’ power overwhelms Rays in playoff

by Gary Shelton on October 6, 2020

in general

Snell gave up three homers to Yankees./JEFFREY KING

Tuesday, 4 am.

If the Tampa Bay Rays are to win their American League Division Series against the New York Yankees -- and the word 'if' is bigger than ever -- there are a few things they will have to accomplish.

That was apparent after a first-game stumble against the New York Yankees, a 9-3 loss.

First of all, they have to slow down the machine that has become the New York Yankees.

Oh, forget about the regular season, when the Rays won eight of 10 meetings against the Yankees. The Yankees of today are formidable team, one that has hit 11 home runs and scored 31 runs in three playoff games. The Yankees also have the early momentum in this series -- meaning the Rays would have to win three of the next four games to advance.

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“They’re talented, there’s no denying that," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash . "They’re a talented group.  They're a talented offense and a really good team. Each team presents its own challenges. We’re just going to have to pitch a little better.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in this club for a good reason. The guys will be ready to go. There's no doubt. They’re going to get irritated and they’re bounce right back by the time we get on the bus.”

For the Rays, that irritation needs to come with a message -- to beat the Yankees, you have to keep the ball inside the yard. New York hit four home runs Monday night -- including a ninth-inning grand slam by Giancarlo Stanton. Most opponents realize that the Yankees are limited in other areas of the game, but they have power to spare. When they hit home runs, it's hard to beat them.

The Rays kept it close early, taking a 3-2 lead on a two-run homer by Ji-Man Choi in the fourth inning. But Blake Snell gave up three home runs (he's given up 14 this season). The Yankees piled on five runs in the top of the ninth to make the final score lopsided.

“He fell behind," Cash said of Snell. "Blake was so good against Toronto in attacking the zone with whatever pitch. Tonight, it looked like was trying to be a little too fine. Probably for good reason, because they’re so talented in that lineup. It’s tough pitching against that lineup, It’s tougher when you're behind."

Snell lacked the normal swing-and-miss ability on his pitches. He gave up four earned runs in five innings.

"The three home runs -- that’s frustrating," Snell said. "It was just a weird night for me. I couldn’t get into the rhythm. I couldn’t find consistency with the pitches. That was really frustraring. I had to battle with not a whole lot. Overall, I didn’t feel good. I’ve got to be better than that. When we get three runs against Cole, we’ve got to be able to win that game. "

Snell, too, thought the Rays were in fine shape.

"We’re right where we need to be," Snell said.

The Rays will start Tyler Glasnow in an attempt to square the series tonight at 8:07 p.m. in San Diego. The Yankees will counter with Deivi Garcia.

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