Instead, Archer pitched his way out of further trouble with a strikeout, a shallow fly ball and a harmless groundout. At this point, every Yankees fan felt a swoop of doubt in our stomachs brought on by a flashback to the 2014 Yankees, when the team had the 2nd fewest RBIs in the American League despite ranking in the top 10 in total tagged bases.
The Yankees have been much better in the early going in 2015, ranking 2nd in both categories. The numbers bear out what our eyes have shown us. The Yankees are consistently having solid ABs with runners on base.
So it was somewhat easy to shrug off the fact that three consecutive batters couldn’t get in even one more run. They’d run up Archer’s pitch count to 32 in just 1.0 IP and the top of the lineup was again producing so it seemed reasonable that they'd get more runs even with Archer on the mound.
But they didn't score again. The Rays tied the score in the seventh inning, and added two more runs in the 8th inning, thanks, in part, to poor defense by Brian McCann, who was unable to corral pitches from Eovaldi--who pitched very well--and Dellin Betances, which led to the go ahead runs.
McCann, unsurprisingly, took the blame for those wild pitches and the runs but, really, it goes back to the 1st inning. With the bases loaded, the Yankees needed to put their foot on the gas and let the Rays know early that there was no coming back in this game. Instead the Rays dodged further trouble and shut the Yankees down from there. Advantage: Rays
All that to say, Tuesday’s game is not something to blow out of proportion. It’s one game. It’s painful for three reasons: (1) It was one they could have won, (2) it was a loss against a division rival and (3) it was a loss in a division that will be a fight from beginning to end.
The series is still up for grabs. On to the next one.