Giancarlo Stanton Grand Slam Paces Yankees’ Dominant ALDS Game 1 Win Vs. Rays

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The New York Yankees are two wins away from advancing after earning a 9-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series on Monday.

Game 1 pitted 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell against Gerrit Cole, who signed the largest contract ever for a starting pitcher. Those hoping to see a pitcher’s duel were disappointed as Snell and Cole combined to allow seven earned runs and five home runs.

A solo homer from Aaron Judge in the top of the fifth proved to be the decisive blow. Kyle Higashioka had tied the game at three to open the inning.

The Bronx Bombers broke things open in the ninth. Aaron Hicks singled home Higashioka before Giancarlo Stanton cleared the bases with a grand slam.

Notable Performers

Gerrit Cole, SP, Yankees: 6.0 innings, six hits, three earned runs, two walks, eight strikeouts

Aaron Hicks, CF, Yankees: 3-for-4, two RBI

Kyle Higashioka, C, Yankees: 2-for-4, two runs, one RBI

Blake Snell, SP, Rays: 5.0 innings, six hits, four earned runs, two walks, four strikeouts

Randy Arozarena, LF, Rays: 3-for-4, two runs, one home run, one RBI

Pick Your Poison with Yankees Offense

Thanks to Higashioka and Clint Frazier, the Yankees made history Monday. This was the first time ever their Nos. 8 and 9 hitters homered in the same playoff game.

New York briefly had a 2-1 lead thanks to a no-doubter from Frazier in the third.

That sums up the danger the Yankees can pose in any given game.

Prior to the ninth-inning explosion, Stanton and Gleyber Torres were hitless. Judge and Luke Voit had one hit apiece. Even accounting for the fact Judge’s lone hit was a four-bagger, that collective effort might have been enough to doom the Yankees on another night.

Instead, their lineup is deep enough they can reasonably expect Frazier and Higashioka to deliver in critical moments when their best players might otherwise be struggling.

Cole didn’t have a great start, but one moment in particular showed why he’s earning $36 million this season. The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Looking at a 1-1 count on Manuel Margot, Cole threw 98 and 100 mph fastballs to get the strikeout.

Few starting pitchers have that kind of stuff in their arsenal, especially when they’re 80 pitches into a playoff game.

Tampa Bay will be happy it won’t have to see Cole for at least the next few games.

Arozarena an Outlier for Listless Rays 

Just as everyone predicted, the Yankees didn’t have an answer for Randy Arozarena.

The Rays left fielder tied the game in the first inning with a solo home run to center.

Arozarena singled to start the fourth and accounted for the Rays’ second run as Ji-Man Choi took Cole deep to left center.

Imagine what the team would’ve done with nine Randy Arozarenas in the lineup.

Unfortunately for the Rays, his three hits were half of their overall total. Brandon Lowe drew two walks but struck out in his other three plate appearances. Yandy Diaz was 0-for-4 out of the leadoff spot. Unlike the Yankees, Tampa Bay will find itself in trouble if its top hitters aren’t contributing in a meaningful way.

What’s Next?

The teams return to the diamond Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET for Game 2. Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to start for the Rays, while Deivi Garcia gets the nod for the Yankees. Glasnow is 1-1 in three starts against New York in 2020, having allowed six earned runs over 14.1 innings. Garcia has yet to face the Rays in his rookie season.

Around Third

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October 5, 2020 at 10:54PM

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