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Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7/23-7/25)

Following their rain-shortened two-game series split against the Mets at home this past weekend, the Yankees head down South for three days to face the Rays in Tampa Bay.  Tropicana Field has, in a way, been a house of horrors for New York, having gone just 4-9 at The Trop since the beginning of 2017 including an ugly three-game sweep just a month ago. The Yankees will begin play today at 63-34, five full games behind the first place Red Sox.  Tampa Bay comes in at 50-49, 19 games out of first and 9.5 games back of Seattle for the second Wild Card position. With trade rumors swirling for both squads and the teams headed in opposite directions, this series provides a key opportunity for the Yankees to get back on track and put pressure on Boston to once again close up the AL East race.

Andrew Miller wins Mariano Rivera Award

In Andrew Miller’s first season with the Yankees, he finished with stellar numbers and impressive recognition for his great season. After pitching to a 3-2 record with a 2.04 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 61.2 innings and 36 saves in 38 opportunities, Miller was rewarded with the Mariano Rivera award for the American League’s top reliever.

After the apparent heir to Rivera, David Robertson walked last offseason for a different shade of pinstripes because the Chicago White Sox gave him a “better opportunity to win” (you can laugh), the Yankees turned their attention to Miller. Miller inked a 4 year, 36 million dollar deal whereas Robertson signed a 4 year deal worth 46 million dollars.

The 6’7” University of North Carolina product Andrew Miller was as shutdown of a closer as you get in 2015. Miller did not allow a single earned run until May 19 and did not blow a save until August 11. To reiterate his reliability, Miller slammed the door in 36 of his 38 save opportunities. Miller also went down with an injury for a month which likely cost him 5 saves over that time period.

Miller looks to build off the success he enjoyed in the 2015 season en route to pitching a full and healthy season in 2016. With the two-headed monster of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller (“DnA”), fans can look forward to more 7-inning games next season.

Article by: Chad Raines
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