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Yankees show how dangerous they are — even when they lose.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — If enough goes right, you can defeat these 2018 Yankees, as the Rays exemplified Friday night when they prevailed, 2-1, in Aaron Boone’s Tropicana Field debut as a manager. But good luck doing so without elevating your heart rate more than several beats per minute. In this American League of haves...
Time: 02:47     Date: 23.06.2018
Last US Sport News: Yankees show how dangerous they are — even when they lose. NY Post 24 - US News

But good luck doing so without elevating your heart rate more than several beats per minute.

In this American League of haves and have-nots, the Yankees headline the group of super teams that rarely loses and almost never gets beat soundly.

“You just don’t limit that team to one run very often,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the game. “So as far as piecing it together and the guys coming in and doing their jobs, that’s probably as good as you can make it.”

The Rays’ bullpenning efforts, with “opener” Ryne Stanek throwing a shutout first inning and five relievers following him, dropped the Yankees’ record to 50-23, still the best in baseball. Of those 23 losses, only six have come by four or more runs.

That puts them right in line with the Red Sox (51-26), who have fallen by that margin in six of their 77 games, and the Astros, who have a rate identical to the Red Sox. Which means that, when you add up the trio’s efforts, only 18 times in 227 attempts, a 7.9-percent rate, have the Big Three sustained anything approaching a blowout loss.

The Yankees’ industry-best offense managed just five hits, and the team went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Yet because CC Sabathia danced in and out of trouble over his 5 ¹/₃ innings, allowing only two runs (one earned) despite giving up nine hits and a walk, Tampa Bay needed to pitch that effectively. Which isn’t very easy to do against these Yankees in this ballpark.

“They were pretty loud,” Cash, a Yankee briefly in 2009, acknowledged. “We’ve played the Yankees and Red Sox quite a bit. They’ve got a lot of fans that travel with them. I though the loudest moment was when we got the final out and that’s what we were concerned about. Our fans showed up and supported us.”

The Yankees couldn’t follow through on Judge’s hit in the seventh, with Giancarlo Stanton’s comebacker to pitcher Chaz Roe advancing his teammates to second and third and Didi Gregorius grounding out to second against lefty Jose Alvarado. And in the ninth, when Miguel Andujar grounded a leadoff single, Sergio Romo finished things off by retiring Torres on a flyout to left field and Gardner on a double-play grounder to shortstop Willy Adames.

“Especially at the end, I realized how many Yankees fans were here when Sergio was getting booed for a couple of straight [pickoff attempts of Andujar],” winning pitcher Ryan Yarbrough said. “That was kind of eye-opening. They’re a tough lineup just like anything else, so as long as you execute pitches, I feel like you’re going to be in good situations. … I feel like we did a good job today.”

The Rays have bested the Yankees and Sabathia in two straight tries now, no easy feat. They’ll try to make it three in a row on Saturday with Wilmer Font against Sonny Gray, a matchup favoring the Yankees, with their dome again likely to feature a good many folks rooting against them.

You think the Yankees, with their high payroll and high hopes, face a lot of pressure? As they reiterated on Friday, there’s far more pressure in just trying to outlast them.

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