New York Yankees: Rays Series is a Crucial One

Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees hit a rough patch, losing seven in a row, three of which came at the hands of the Rays, now they’ll have an opportunity to get some back.

After losing seven in a row, including a sweep by Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees are currently 3.5 games behind the Rays in the American League East. Now, they will have the opportunity to right that ship a bit and potentially put together three wins to be within a half-game of the Rays.

The Yankees have been horrendous against the Rays this season, as they have lost six of their seven matchups, being outscored 34-24 in those seven games. That being said, it doesn’t look too pretty heading into this three-game set.

Not only that, but the Yankees are still without the bats of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton, which is a huge hit to the offense, and now it also appears they will be without Aaron Hicks as well. During their seven-game losing streak the Yankees scored only 19 runs, an average of 2.7 per game with five games scoring three or less.

This means the Yankees’ bats have struggled in a large way as of late and they surely miss the likes of Judge, Torres, and Stanton. However, the good news is that Luke Voit has stepped up in a massive way, and on Sunday they showed a ton of resilience as they won both games in extra innings, the first of which being after they mounted a comeback following a five-run deficit going into the seventh inning of seven.

Better late than never, but one of the biggest reasons the Yankees won that game was because of Aaron Hicks’ two-run bomb to tie it up in the seventh, who they will now be without due to a leg injury which forced him to leave the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.

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The biggest question is; how will Gerrit Cole bounce back after losing his first game in 15 months? Cole’s last start came against the Braves when he gave up three home runs, and five earned runs on three hits, giving him his first loss since May of 2019.

That being said, we haven’t seen Cole come back from a loss in a very long time, and it will be interesting to see how he fares. Not only that, but he has also been poor against the Rays’ bats this season in his two appearances against Tampa Bay.

Cole has given up a combined 12 hits, three of them being home runs, and five earned runs against the Rays, but the good news is he has a combined 20 strikeouts and only two walks against them. So with this in mind, Monday’s matchup is going to be an interesting one, because nobody is quite sure how Cole is going to do.

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Nonetheless, the Yankees MUST win at least two of the three games against the Rays in order to be in a good position heading into September in the AL East.