Yankees lose in 9th to Rays on Opening Day

CC Sabathia wasn’t sharp and Mariano Rivera blew the game in the 9th as the Yankees lost to the Rays 7-6 on Opening Day in Tampa to start the season 0-1.

QUESTIONABLE CALL: The Rays scored four runs in a big 1st inning when manager Joe Girardi called for an intentional walk of Sean Rodriguez to pitch to Carlos Pena with the bases loaded. Sabathia, who was struggling with his control, left a pitch over the plate that Pena crushed for a grand slam.

QUICK COMEBACK: The Yankees came back quickly with two runs in the 2nd and four in the 3rd off a Raul Ibanez 3-run shot to give them a 6-4 lead. Evan Longoria homered in the 3rd to make it 6-5 and that’s where it stood until the 9th. The Yankees had opportunities offensively, but struggled to come through after the third.

RIVERA BLOWS A SAVE: In the 9th, Rivera just didn’t have his normal command and was leaving pitches up. He gave up a single and a triple to Zobrist to tie it and then an intentional walk, another intentional walk, a strikeout, and a single ended the game.

SECOND GUESSING: Not only did Girardi intentionally walk a batter to get burned by Pena in the 1st inning, but he walked TWO batters to get burned by Pena in the 9th. He also made a risky move by pulling right fielder Nick Swisher and replacing him with an extra shortstop, literally, in Eduardo Nunez as he used five infielders against the final two batters.

CC STRUGGLES ON OPENING DAY: There is just something about Opening Day that CC doesn’t like. He gave up just two runs in six innings last year, but in ’10 he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings, in ’09 he gave up six runs in 4.1 innings, and in ’08 he gave up five in 5.1. The Yankees might want to consider somebody else for the honor next season.

D-ROB THE AMAZING: David Robertson might have had a foot injury during spring training, but he looks completely over it by now. He put a pair of runners on before striking out three in a row to finish off his Houdini act.

WHY THIS LOSS ISN’T SO BAD: Sure it isn’t fun to watch them lose on Opening Day, but CC pitched poorly, Girardi made some crazy mistakes, and Mo pitched poorly. That isn’t going to happen a lot. This loss is not a sign of things to come.

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3 Responses to Yankees lose in 9th to Rays on Opening Day

  1. Whit says:

    I for one enjoyed Opening Day despite the madness and having to talk a fan off of the ledge already lol. There's many more games to go so let's shake this one off and continue to hit/pitch well.

  2. Gonzalo says:

    The same problem we saw against Detroit.
    Today Yankees RISP: 2-11

    • David K. says:

      As some here had been saying after last year, we were better off trading Swisher, making Jesus Montero the full time DH/backup catcher, carrying an extra backup catcher (Cervelli), and bringing up our best starting pitching prospect. We could have done all that and signed Kuroda (who I'm not in love with), but he did do well in spring training so we'll see.