July 29, 2021

Schadenfreude 312 (A Continuing Series)

From my seat in row 25 of section 128 of Pacific Bell Park SBC Park AT&T Park Oracle Park, watching the early innings of Thursday afternoon's Dodgers-Giants game, I saw on the out-of-town scoreboard beyond the right-field fence that the Rays had beaten the Yankees 4-0.

There was a "1" after the "TBR" and the "4", and I figured that was a notation signifying the first game of a doubleheader. I looked at the score again a little later and wondered: Could that be 14-0? A quick check online (thanks to free wifi) confirmed that the final score was indeed 14-0! And a wonderful day of watching baseball in the bright sunshine had become even more enjoyable!

Yankees - 000 00  0  000 -  0  4  1
Rays    - 400 00(10) 00x - 14 12  0

Genuinely Curious: How many times has an MFY loss in 2021 been described as the team's "worst game of the year"?

Dan Martin, Post:

As the Yankees look to remake their roster prior to Friday's trade deadline, their current team played its worst game of the year — and their ace stunk.

Looking to complete a series sweep of the Rays . . . the Yankees saw Gerrit Cole get pounded in a 14-0 loss at Tropicana Field.

Cole allowed a season-high eight runs — seven earned — in 5¹/₃ innings, as his ERA rose to season-high 3.11. . . . [It was] the Yankees' worst shutout loss since a 16-0 drubbing by the Tigers on Aug. 27, 2007.

One-time prospect Albert Abreu followed Cole by allowing six runs — and three homers — without retiring a batter in the Rays' 10-run sixth inning, and the Yankees' offense was held to four singles.

In a sign of things to come, Brandon Lowe hit Cole's first pitch of the day into the stands in right. Initially called a home run, the umpires reversed themselves and ruled it foul before reviewing the play, which confirmed it was a foul ball.

It didn't matter.

Lowe reached on an infield hit and Ji-Man Choi followed with a walk. A Yandy Diaz single to center drove in Lowe for the Rays' first run. Austin Meadows then drilled a three-run shot to right-center to make it 4-0. After giving up four runs without recording an out, Cole got the next three batters to end the 26-pitch inning.

Cole . . . was shaky again in the sixth.

The Rays loaded the bases with one out on singles by Meadows and Randy Arozarena and a walk to Wander Franco. . . . Kevin Kiermaier hit a fly ball to deep left. Brett Gardner caught up to it, but dropped the ball . . . Two runs scored on the play, which was ruled a sacrifice fly and an error by Gardner. . . .

Cole was replaced by Abreu, who walked Mike Zunino before Brett Phillips put the game away with a grand slam. . . .

Cole has a 5.35 ERA in his last six starts (20 earned runs and six homers in 33⅔ innings).

He followed up a subpar outing in Boston (three runs in five innings) with an even worse performance against the Yankees' other AL East rivals.

And it's the second consecutive appearance Cole's pitched poorly versus Tampa Bay. In his previous game against the Rays, he allowed five runs in five innings. He’s 1-3 with a 5.11 ERA facing the Rays this season . . .

At this point, the Yankees have a lot of work to do if they want to get Cole another shot at Tampa Bay in the playoffs.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Gerrit Cole gave up a season-high eight runs, seven earned, as the Bombers were blown out by the Rays, 14-0, at Tropicana Field on Thursday.

The Yankees (53-48) . . . [have] lost four out of their last six games during a period when they needed to make up ground. They are now 5-4 at Tropicana Field this season and 7-9 against the Rays (61-42) overall this season.

It was the Yankees' largest shutout loss since a 16-0 loss in August of 2007 to the Tigers and their largest margin of loss since a 19-5 loss Aug. 15, 2019 against Cleveland. . . .

The offense was shut out for the sixth time this season, and the second time by the Rays. Luis Patino — the 21-year-old right-hander . . . pitched six scoreless, three-hit innings. He walked two and struck out eight. . . .

It was the most runs the Yankees allowed this season. The 10-run sixth inning was the most they allowed in a frame this year, which also tied their previous high of most runs allowed in an inning — last September, the Blue Jays got them for 10 runs, also in the sixth, in Buffalo.

Cole's full line of the game included six hits and a home run. He walked two and struck out 10 in 5.1 innings pitched. It was one run shy of the most Cole has allowed in his career. . . . 

Cole gave up what initially looked like a lead-off home run to Brandon Lowe in the first, but it was overturned on replay. Lowe eventually legged out a single and scored on a Yandy Diaz single. But Cole could not escape the first without giving up that homer. Austin Meadows hammered his first of the game, a three run-shot to put the Yankees in a 4-0 hole.

The Yankees ace settled down ... for four innings. . . .

Meadows came back to bite him again with a one-out single in the sixth, followed by a Randy Arozarena single. Cole loaded the bases after walking 20-year-old rookie Wander Franco. Then Kevin Kiermaier lofted a fly ball to the warning track in left field that popped out of Brett Gardner's glove, allowing two runs to score. . . .

[Gardner:] "I knew where the ball was, I knew it was getting close to me . . .To be honest, I tried to catch it". . .

Cole crouched down over his knees in frustration as Aaron Boone walked out to pull him from the game.

Reliever Albert Abreu gave up six runs on three homers without getting an out . . .

Despite the embarrassing loss, Boone thinks they are built for a run. . . . "[T]here's no question in my mind that we get hot at the right time that we're capable of not only playing with but beating anyone in this sport."

OK, Booner.

* * *

Even when the Yankees don't lose, I should still remember to check the tabloids.

From Wednesday:

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