The New York Yankees continued their 2020 regular season campaign against the Tampa Bay Rays. So we continue our game recaps for the 2020 season with our three takeaways.
Takeaway #1: Masahiro Looked Sharp
It was not long ago in “Summer Camp” where Masa took a 112 mph line drive from Giancarlo Stanton off his head. But here in just his second start of 2020, Masahiro was in postseason form. Across five innings of work, Tanaka would scatter just a single solitary hit. Masahiro would also strike out five along the way. Tanaka becomes even more vital to the Yankees ultimate mission of “Win Everything” because of the struggles of James Paxton and JA Happ. If the season ended today, Masahiro would undoubtedly be the number two start behind Gerrit Cole. And with the postseason track record, that will likely be the case. Tonight’s start only aided those asperations.
Takeaway #2: More Missed Opportunities
Last night we spoke about the missed opportunities that the Yankees had against Philadelphia. And tonight, the Bronx Bombers were plagued by more of the same. Tonight the Yankees would leave six men on base and go 0-5 with runners in scoring position as a team. The “Big Hit” would be missed all night. However, no opportunity was more significant than the bases-loaded strikeout by Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning. Following three walks to the previous five batters, Sanchez would go down swinging on three straight fastballs. The Yankees could have easily won this game if they had capitalized on just a couple of these missed opportunities.
Takeaway #3: Too Many Strikeouts
When you possess a homerun hitting team like the Bronx Bombers, some expectations follow of striking out. And while the three true outcome results are becoming commonplace today. And strikeouts aren’t viewed with the same vile ill-content as previous generations; strikeouts still have a stigma. However, watching the Yankees tonight against the Rays, you wouldn’t have thought that was the case. Tonight the Yanks would find themselves taking the long way back to the dugout nine times. (Most notably, three strikeouts by Aaron Judge.) Strikeouts in today’s game are a regular occurrence and no longer viewed as a failed at-bat. But if the Yankees are unable to cut down the strikeout numbers, it can be the precursor for their 2020 season’s demise.