Rays lose to Yankees again at bats tamed

by Gary Shelton on June 3, 2021

in general

Brosseau made a pair of misplays./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

A two-game losing streak isn't equal to an 11-game winning streak. Still, these are troubling times for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Once again, they cannot hit. Once again, they strike out an embarrassing amount of times. Once again, they cannot buy a hit with a runner in scoring position.

And, once again, the New York Yankees have found a way to stop the Rays' express.

The Rays lost a 4-3 game to the Yankees Wednesday, falling prey to some unsettling old habits. They didn't run the bases well, they didn't play great defense and their offense was offensive.

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-- The Rays struck out 10 times. In the three-game (so far) series, the Rays have struck out 31 times.

-- The Rays were one-for-11 with runners in scoring position. In three games, they're three-for-31.

-- The offense that was so potent for three weeks is sputtering. The Rays have scored nine runs on 15 hits in the three games against New York.

-- Even the bat of Randy Arozarena has found trouble. He struck out four times Wednesday with five runners on bae.

-- Mike Brosseau didn't turn a double-play in the first (followed by a two-run homer by Gio Urshela and was thrown out at third in a base running gaffe after he had doubled.

-- Starting pitcher Shane McClanahan threw a dugout tantrum after being pulled from the game after 3 1/3 innings. However, McClanahan had thrown 79 pitches to get those 10 outs.

The Rays had two men reach in the ninth, but Aroldis Chapman worked his way out of trouble.

"We had such good at-bats there at the end of the ball game to get the guys on base," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Ji Man’s (Choi) at bat was just tremendous. He ended up striking out, but that’s what that guy (Chapman) does. He’s special. When you’re striking out 50-60 percent of the guys you’re facing, it says how talented he is."

Cash didn't seem concerned with the losing streak.

"We’re playing really good baseball," Cash said. "If we’re going to dwell on the last two games, we should dwell on the last 20. We’ve done some really special things. The Yankees played really well and made some pitches when they needed it most."

On his base running error, Brosseau said "Looking back on it, it was a bonehead move. You can call it overaggressive, but it's not the right move."

McClanahan was irate after being pulled, but attributed it to "competitiveness."

"Obviously, every pitcher wants the ball," McClanahan said. "There was no disrespect there. Everything’s all good in the clubhouse It was just competitiveness. I want the ball. I want to complete."

The Rays have their hands full today as they attempt to keep their losing streak from grown to three. In a 1:05 p.m. game at Yankee Stadium, the Rays face Gerrit Cole. They will start Ryan Yarbrough.

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