A-Rod goes 0-for-6 as Yankees fall to Rays in 13 innings

By on April 30, 2015

RAYS 3, YANKEES 2 (13)

Alex Rodriguez’s latest self-help chestnut — “Press delete and go on” — applies in almost every way to the Yankees’ 3-2 loss to the Rays in 13 innings Wednesday afternoon, except maybe for the club’s superlative relief work.

Rodriguez himself needs to erase perhaps the worst game of his career. He barely put the ball in play, so there was little chance he’d hit his Willie Mays milestone homer. Rodriguez had an 0-for-6 nightmare in which he took the Golden Sombrero, striking out four times. He also bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and deflate the few left from a crowd of 30,055 at the Stadium. According to ESPN Stats and Information, it’s the first time Rodriguez has had at least six at-bats in a game and did not get a hit. “I’ve been feeling OK,” said Rodriguez, who was 3-for-20 on the Yanks’ home stand. “Today, I didn’t feel very comfortable. Again, press delete and we’ll go on.”

The offense as a whole struggled against Drew Smyly and a procession of Rays relievers, delivering only seven hits, striking out a season-high 16 times and going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Chase Headley and Chris Young each hit solo homers, providing the lone highlights for Yankee hitters.

“It’s frustrating,” said Joe Girardi, whose first-place team has still won 10 of 13. “There’s no doubt it’s frustrating, because we had some opportunities late in the game and weren’t able to get the one hit we needed.”

At least the relief corps were their old, reliable selves. Sure, Chasen Shreve got stuck with the loss after giving up an RBI single to James Loney in the 13th, and Dellin Betances gave the club a scare when he limped off the mound after a scoreless eighth. Betances has a blister on the big toe of his left foot and he and Girardi say it’s not an issue. But the pen was terrific again. Yankee relievers gave up one run and one hit in 7.1 innings after Michael Pineda departed in the sixth inning. The bullpen struck out eight and walked four and it has a 0.88 ERA since April 22 and a 1.75 ERA for the season.

“As an offense, you want to be able to come through in those situations and show the bullpen some love and appreciation and get the win,” Young said. “But we were scraping and we just couldn’t get any runs across the plate.”

The Rays’ decisive run came with two out when Loney’s grounder got to Stephen Drew, who was shifted into right field. Steven Souza, running on a full count, scored from second. Drew looked to first initially but felt he had no play there and then looked home but the throw was late.

“Just the way it came off the bat, where we’re playing him, it’s definitely kind of a tough situation there,” Drew said. “He stuck the bat out and the ball’s hooking. I did the best I could to get to it. Unfortunately, just no shot to get him.”

Now, after an off-day Thursday, the Yanks invade Fenway Friday with Rodriguez looking to hit the 660th homer of his career against a team and a town that has always, um, taken a great, if not particularly fond, interest in him.

Mr. Look Ahead views the milestone chase in enemy territory this way: “Sure, it would’ve been nice to do it here at home, obviously, in front of the home fans. We’ll go on to Fenway.”

There, Rodriguez will try to sort out his problems at the plate where he acknowledged he “definitely chased” bad pitches Wednesday. He is 5-for-his-last-37 (.135). His average is down to .232 and he has two RBI in the last 10 games, both coming against the Mets Sunday. He admits Milestone Anxiety might be a part of it. He’s apparently not referring to the likely standoff he’ll have with the Yankees over a $ 6 million marketing bonus. The club doesn’t want to pay off because it believes the chase isn’t sellable because of Rodriguez’s drug past. Rodriguez went 46 at-bats in between homers 599 and 600. “Maybe a little bit,” Rodriguez said when asked if he was going through something similar now. “I know I stayed on 600 for a long time and it’s only been a few games here.”

“He chased a little bit,” Girardi added. “But he just had a really good game on Sunday night. We forgot that one already? If I had to answer every time a guy had a bad day at the plate, golly, we’d be here a long time and talking about every hitter that we have.” 

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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