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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.

Mitchell hammered as Yankees drop second straight game

Bryan Mitchell, coming off an impressive season debut on Wednesday, got rocked by the Dodgers on Monday night, as the Yankees dropped the series opener 8-2 for the second consecutive defeat. The back-to-back defeats are a huge stumbling block to the Yankees’ playoff hopes, as they need to finish roughly 13-6 the rest of the season to have a realistic shot at the second wild card.

Kathy Willens, AP
Mitchell shut down the Blue Jays five days ago, only scattering four hits over five shutout innings, giving him his first win of the season. Tonight, however, he didn’t have the same luck. In just two and a third innings, he was tagged for eight hits and six runs, although only two of those runs were earned. His pitches were staying up, and every batter was making solid contact. He left the offense with a deficit they were not able to overcome. This start will leave Joe Girardi with a tough decision as to who he wants to pitch in his spot the next time around, especially if the playoff race tightens.
The Yankees offense didn’t have a night to remember offensively, either. They were able to only muster five hits, including two home runs that accounted for both of the Bomber runs. In the second inning, Starlin Castro sent a ball into the second deck in left field, putting the Yankees on the board. Three innings later, Aaron Judge absolutely launched a 436-foot blast, showing off his power that made him such a highly touted prospect. After two straight games where the offense wasn’t especially productive, New York will look to rebound tomorrow.

Tomorrow, the Yankees will try to even the series against the Dodgers. The Bombers will send out CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.27 ERA) against the Dodgers’ Julio Urias (5-2, 3.69 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM ET.

Article by: Dan DeGregorio
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