NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: A tarp covers the field during a rain delay before a game between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on April 12, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The game was postponed due to rain. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Rays And Yankees Rained Out. Double Header Set For Sept 21

The Rays won the first game of their weekend series against the Yanks, hitting five home runs off CC Sabathia in the process.

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Rays And Yankees Rained Out, Double Header Set For Sept 21

One day after being dominated 9-2 by Jorge Posada and the New York Yankees, mother nature is doing a number on the Tampa Bay Rays baseball plans. Sunday’s matinee rubber match between the AL East rivals has been rained out and will be made up with a day-night double header on September 21st.

After taking a few tarp slides, the Rays will take a train ride to Boston wearing 1950’s style headwear in advance of a three game set with the division leading Boston Red Sox, beginning on Tuesday, also with a day-night double header as a result of an earlier Fenway Park rainout.

The extra off day has shifted the Rays starting pitching rotation yet again, with James Shields now scheduled to start the day game of the DH, and Jeff Neimann going in the nightcap. David Price will pitch the final game of the series on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay has won 7 of their last 10 but find themselves still 9.5 games behind Boston in the ultra competitive American League East, and 8.5 games behind wild-card leader New York.


VIDEO: CC Sabathia Allows 5 Home Runs Against Tampa Bay Rays

In Friday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees, something unusual happened: Yankee ace CC Sabathia allowed five home runs, the first time in his career he’s allowed more than three home runs in one game.

Some other interesting factoids on this rare event:

- Sabathia is only the third pitcher in baseball to allow five homers in one game this season. The other two pitchers are Sean O’Sullivan (6.92 ERA) and Carlos Zambrano (4.82 ERA), with Zambrano throwing his five homer game Friday night as well.

- The first four batters to hit a homer off Sabathia tonight were Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon, and Elliot Johnson. Coming into tonight, the four of them had combined for a mere 25 homeruns on the year.

- Sabathia tied the Yankees’ record for the most home runs allowed in one game. He’s the first Yankee to allow this many solo home runs in one game, and only the 13th player since 1919 to allow 5 solo home runs in one game.

Here’s a video of the home runs courtesy of DRaysBay (minus Longoria’s blast):

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Rays Hit 5 Home Runs Against CC Sabathia, Win Game 5-1

As a wise man once said, “Baseball is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Or to put it another way, what the heck just happened out there?

This is the first time in CC Sabathia’s career that he’s allowed five home runs in one game. It also makes him only the second third pitcher in MLB to allow that many homers in one game this season. The other pitchers? Sean O’Sullivan (6.92 ERA) and the newly retired (?) Carlos Zambrano (4.82 ERA). Sabathia tied the Yankee record for most home runs allowed in one game (Live Ball Era edition), yet he still last seven innings and kept the Rays from scoring otherwise.

And if all this wasn’t weird enough, the hitters responsible for the home runs were a motley crew: Casey Kotchman, Kelly Shoppach, Johnny Damon, Elliot Johnson, and Evan Longoria. This was about as unpredictable a game as you could imagine.

On the other side of the ball, David Price pitched one of his best games in a long time. He lasted eight full innings, only allowed eight baserunners (six hits, two walks) and one run while striking out four. He finally seemed to realize that he couldn’t succeed by merely blowing his fastball by hitters, and he started mixing in his changeup, curveball, and slider (cutter? slutter?) earlier and with more regularity. In fact, he only threw his fastball 58% of the time tonight, compared with past starts where that percentage has been somewhere near 80%.

Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come from Price. Even though he only struck out a handful of batters, I’m impressed that he managed to contain the Yankees regardless. Now if only he could remember to pitch this way against other teams…

Game Notes:

  • This win moves the Rays to only 7.5 games out in the Wild Card, the closest they’ve been since July 29th (h/t Marc Topkin). With Sabathia out of the way, the Rays now have to face Phil Hughes (5.01 FIP) and Freddy Garcia (3.63 FIP). Watch the offense get no-hit tomorrow. Watch.
  • Desmond Jennings had a rough day at the plate today — possibly his worst day yet in the majors — but he managed to make a nifty little sliding catch in the seventh inning to get the Rays out of the inning.
  • Speaking of defense, Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez combined for an impressive relay throw in the fourth inning to nab Nick Swisher at the plate, preventing the Yankees from scoring two runs and maintaining the Rays’ two run lead.

Rays Open Series Against Yankees In New York

Tonight at 7:05pm, the Rays and Yankees open a three-game series in New York.

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