Top Play (WPA): With runners on second and third in the top of the first, Yankee killer James Loney stepped to the plate. Loney lined a ball into right field driving in two runs to give the Rays a 3-0 lead. This increased their chances of winning by 11.6%. (Editor’s note: Loney has a .402 batting average in his career at the new Yankee Stadium, which is his highest average in any ballpark min. 75 plate appearances).
Bottom Play (WPA): In the seventh inning, the Yankees put runners on first and second with one out. Down 4-1, Chase Headley stepped up to the plate with a chance to drive in a run. However, he grounded into a double play to end the inning, decreasing the Yankees’ chance of winning by 10.1%. This was the last real chance the Yankees had to build a comeback.
Key Moment: After a failed 7th inning rally, the Yankees imploded in the 8th. Evan Longoria singled to begin the inning. James Loney reached base following a Jose Pirela error. A Logan Forsythe bloop single made the game 6-1. Steven Souza Jr. was hit and the Yanks brought in Chris Capuano to relieve Bryan Mitchell, who didn’t record an out. Capuano pitched a little bit better, but still walked two batters, forcing in a run. The inning resulted in four runs, breaking open the game for the Rays.
Trend to Watch: Brett Gardner’s strikeout in the fifth marked his second of the day. Today was his fourth game in the last five with two strikeouts in a game. However, Gardner has not struck out more than twice in a game all year. New York’s next opponent, the A’s, collectively place in the top 10 in strikeout rate during the last 30 days. His first opponent, Sonny Gray, is 13th in the AL in strikeouts.
Coming Next: After a day off on Monday, the Yankees will take on Oakland Tuesday at home, 7:05 ET start time. Oakland began the year as the worst team record-wise in the American League. They’ve made a climb back into relevancy but are back down to earth, winning five out of their last 10. Sonny Gray (9-3, 2.09 ERA) will start against Nate Eovaldi (8-2, 4.52 ERA) in game one of the three game series.
(Photo: Andy Marlin-USA Today Sports)