Yankees close door on Rays
I recently was privy to attend the Rays Town Meeting where the management and Season Ticktholder can chat about concerns, wants and needs.
A idea from a Season Ticketholder was to make an advertisement for the Jumbotron to ask fans to be polite with their cellphones in the stadium. Now, I know I am in a small section down near the bottom of the stadium bowl, and I have not had this cell-monster behind or in front of me yelling into his cellphone yet.
Is there such a rampant disregard for common manners that a person wouls attend a game and continuly shout into his phone during the game. I know I keep mine on vibrate and only check it between innings, not during game action. I do this for two reasons, not to get spiked with a line drive, and to be a polite fan to the people around me. Guess sometimes when you have a few carbonated beers or beverages, you can forget the simple things. Come on guys, let’s enjoy the games and if you must call, take time between innings, or go into the hallways. Just common sense here.
Sometimes you run into a team with something to prove, that has an agenda that is above just winning. With the shutout of the Rays on Tuesday night, the Yankees are slowly creaping back into the AL East race. The loss put NY 7.5 game behind the Rays.
These games against divisional foes are beginnig to take on more meaning with the success of the Rays this year. The loss put the Rays on a 2-game losing streak. The last time the Rays lost 2 games was on June 10-11 against the LA Angels in Anaheim.
“People make a big deal, obviously, because it’s Tampa,” Jeter said. “Every game is big. We just so happen to be playing them.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon noted before the first pitch the increased attention on this two-game set created “an October feel.” He said his team would merely treat it as another series — the Yankees, in their 90th game this season, saw it as chance to make up ground.
Pettitte (10-6) returned to form, giving up only four hits and walking none. He was focused from the start, often standing with his glove in front of his face, even while Tampa Bay hitters stepped out of the batter’s box.
This time, the Rays barely had a chance as Pettitte improved to 15-4 lifetime against them. Pettitte retired the first two batters on two pitches, and was on his way.
When Tampa Bay had a late glimmer of hope, Jeter extinguished it. Down 2-0, Tampa Bay put runners at the corners with two outs in the seventh. Willy Aybar hit a grounder in the hole that Jeter tracked down, and the All-Star shortstop jumped, spun and made a strong toss from several steps onto the outfield grass that forced out Dioner Navarro at second base.
“I knew I had a chance,” Jeter said after his signature play. “As long as you get to it quick and get rid of it quick.”
Dioner Navarro hit a foul ball into the crowd off third base. N one was injured in the play, but Yankee’s third baseman Alex Rodriguez looked like it hit his mother on the play.
Rays starter Scott Kazmir (7-4) did look to have some of his best stuff, allowing just five hits while striking out nine, but he used up far too many pitches too quickly, throwing 97 through five innings before manager Joe Maddon gave him the early hook.
“Of course we would like him to go more than five,” Maddon said. “I thought he had a better slider, his fastball command was better. He gets a lot of foul balls. It’s not like he was all over the place.”
Kazmir’s only blemish came in the third inning, when Derek Jeter jumped on a high change-up and drove a two-out double to push home Robinson Cano and Jose Molina to stake the Yankees to a 2-0 lead.
Kazmir got out of trouble in the third by the Rays’ fielding gem of the night.
B J Upton fielded Bobby Abreu’s single cleanly in center then unleashed a strike to catcher Dioner Navarro, who tagged out Jeter for the final out of the inning.
Upton also had 2 of the 4 hits allowed the Rays by Andy Pettitte. He is now 15-4 lifetime against the Rays. One was a beautiful ground rule double to right the skirted over for Upton in the 1st inning.
Also getting hits for Tampa Bay was Carlos Pena who got a blistering shot past Robinson Cano at second in the 4th inning. Navarro also got the other hit on a infield single to Jeter.