Apparently, this crosstown misplaced series is a huge hit in New York. After over 15,000 fans showed up for last night’s Yankee win over the “home team” Rays, the powers-that-be at Citi Field opened up a second deck to allow nearly 6000 more fans to watch tonight’s game.
Sonny Gray pitched all 8 innings for the Yankees tonight, actually throwing a pretty great game overall. He threw 94 pitches, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and struck out 9 Rays’ batters. Both of those runs were solo home runs — a 1st pitch solo shot in the 1st inning and a 1-out solo shot in the 8th.
Meanwhile, Gray was looking for some run support… that would just never arrive. I mean, they did get on the board first in the top of the 1st inning. Judge worked a 1-out walk (surprise!), moved to 2nd on Sanchez’s ground out, and then scored on Matt Holliday’s double.
Now, the Rays’ starter did pitch into the 6th inning, only giving up 2 hits and 2 walks to Yankee batters, and that lone run in the 1st inning. Tapping into the bullpen, the Yankees were hoping to use that to their advantage, as they’ve done for so many other teams this season. But the Rays’ bullpen may be the lone thing they have going for them this season. Collectively, the Rays’ bullpen gave up 1 hit. And that’s it for allowed base runners for the second half of the game.
Final score: 2-1 Rays
Injury news: after being a last-minute scratch at last night’s game due to lower back soreness, Greg Bird was sent for a precautionary MRI, which came back negative. He’s hoping to rejoin the team for tomorrow’s game.
Also, the Yankees released their 2018 preliminary schedule today. The Yankees will start their season with a 4-game series in Toronto (starting March 29) and end the season at Fenway (Sept. 28-30). All 30 teams will start on the same day this year, and with nothing to prevent them from starting that early like the World Baseball Classic or exhibition games for opening a new stadium or a historic Cuban baseball game.
It could be an interesting season, at least. Of course, so much of how tough the schedule will depend on how the season evolves in time. Like which team will hit a hot streak, which team will be plagued with random injuries, which team is ready to burst forth and make their push towards the postseason. A schedule can look deceptively good until the team is bogged down with unforeseen injuries, and suddenly, it’s a terrible schedule.
Baseball is really never predictable.