The New York Yankees open their season by being swept in Tampa

By garymarchese

The New York Yankees have not begun the season the way they envisioned.  They got swept in a three game series in Tampa to start the season.  The three losses can’t really be pinned on one thing.  The two starters in the first two games were not very good but that wasn’t the only reason they lost.  Phil Hughes was pretty good today but didn’t give them length and they couldn’t score.  The Yankees lost today’s game by the score of 3-0.  They couldn’t get big hits when it really counted in any of the games and that cost them.  The Yankees are 0-3 and the last time that happened was in 1998 and they went on to win 114 games and the World Series.  It is very early and it is a long season, you never want to get swept but it isn’t the end of the world just yet.  The Yankees now head to Baltimore for three games before coming home on Friday to take on the Anaheim Angels in their home opener.

Phil Hughes started this game and pitched better then the other two starters did.  Hughes wasn’t able to give the Yankees length though because of a high pitch count.  Hughes pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out five.  Boone Logan pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up a hit and a run and struck out three batters, Cory Wade pitched an inning giving up one hit and striking out two and Clay Rapada walked a batter and got another out.  David Phelps got both batters out that he faced and struck one out.  Hughes took the loss in the game and Jeremy Hellickson got the win pitching 8 2/3 innings giving up no runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts.  Fernando Rodney earned his second save by getting the only batter that he faced out.

Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira each got a hit and that was it for the Yankees.  The three hits were all doubles.  The Yankees were 0-6 with runners in scoring position and they left seven men on base.  Rodriguez had a stolen base.

Carlos Pena had two hits and an RBI for the Rays.  Evan Longoria had two hits and drew a walk, Matt Joyce had a hit, RBI and drew a walk and Ben Zobrist drew a walk.  Jeff Keppinger had two hits and an RBI, Longoria and Pena each had a double.  Joyce had a triple and Pena and Keppinger each hit a homerun.  The Rays were 1-5 with runners in scoring position and they left seven men on base.

In the first inning the Rays scored on an RBI triple by Joyce, Ibanez misplayed it though and it shouldn’t have been anything but an out.  In the third inning the Rays made it 2-0 on a solo homerun by Pena and in the sixth Keppinger hit a solo homerun to make it 3-0.

The Yankees are 0-3 and the Rays were 3-0.  The Yankees didn’t really do anything right in this series.  They didn’t pitch too well in the first two games and in this game they didn’t hit at all.  The Rays also drove them crazy with their shifts and it always seemed like they were in the right position.  The Yankees felt overall that they had good at bats but a lot of times they were hitting balls right at people.  The Yankees will now head to Baltimore for a three game series before coming home on Friday for their home opener against the Anaheim Angels.

Why were the Yankees swept in the three games??  I don’t think their was one reason and I also think it was more that the Rays played very well.  The Rays seemed to have more fielders out there then they really did.  The Rays had the Yankees played perfectly almost always.  The Yankees hit a lot of hard balls but right at people the whole series.

In the first two games the Yankees scored six runs in each but couldn’t hold down the Rays.  In the game today the Yankees couldn’t score a single run.  They blew their biggest chance of the game with second and third and one out.  That was another theme of the series, the Yankees failing to drive in runs with runners in scoring position.  The Yankees have had this problem for the last couple of years.  The reason they lost to the Tigers in the first round last year in the playoffs was because they couldn’t get a hit when they needed it.  The Yankees need to get better with runners in scoring position.

It was only three games but you never want to get swept, the Yankees though need to move on to Baltimore.  They can’t feel sorry for themselves, just need to forget these three games and play well in Baltimore.  If they can win the series in Baltimore they can somewhat forget about this series.  The Yankees will then have a day off before beginning the home portion of their season on Friday afternoon.

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