The Yankees kept hoping all season they could get all of their power bats healthy so the lineup they envisioned in the off-season would carry them to playoff wins. And that is exactly what has occurred in the 2020 post-season continuing last night in Petco Park as the Bronx Bombers took gane 1 from Rays 9-3.
On this night Gerrit Cole did not have his great stuff giving up 3 runs in 6 innings of work but that mattered little as the Yankees belted 4 home runs including a grand slam from Giancarlo Stanton in the top of the ninth inning that extended a Yankee one run lead.
Just as they did in the wild card series against the Indians, The Yankees had a precise game plan against another great pitcher as they torched Blake Snell early and often with an aggressive offensive approach. For Giancarlo Stanton, his Yankee career has been disappointing but homering in the team’s first 3 playoff games may be the precursor to altering his Yankee resume.
Still this was only one game and Yankee manager Aaron Boone acknowledged that by saying after the game, “It is one game and we gotta win 3 and we know the Rays are a great team and opponent. We know we have to play our best to beat them and that’s going to be a challenge.”
But they took a giant step towards doing that with a Game 1 win as the Yankee bats have taken center stage. Game 2 will be an interesting matchup as Aaron Boone will handing the ball to rookie Deivi Garcia instead of Masahiro Tanaka who he has pushed back to Game 3. Garcia made 6 starts this season with a 4.98 ERA So don’t be surprised if Garcia is merely an opener with Jay Happ or Jordan Montgomery logging innings in Game 2.
Tyler Glasnow will go for the Rays who has great stuff but can sometimes struggle with his control. And he will be facing a red hot Yankee lineup that has been treating post-season pitchers like battering rams as the Rays try to even the series.
These 2 teams really dislike each other and the combination of the Rays throwing some tight pitchers to the Yankees last night plus the Bronx Bombers stealing a base late in the game with the game pretty much over might be something for the umpires to keep a close watch on because watching that final inning I got the sense the Rays were frustrated and angry.
We shall see if that frustration and anger plays out in Game 2 but if the Yankee power bats keep dominating the story all of those emotions could be a moot point.