By Theresa Morrissey, Staff Writer
After a shortened season, the New York Yankees will not be advancing to the American League Championship Series after losing to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays beat the Yankees three games to two in a best of five American League Divisional Series. The 2020 American League Divisional Series kicked off on Oct. 5th and consisted of a game running each day until Oct. 9th. The New York Yankees finished as the number five seed, which meant they played the number one seeded Tampa Bay Rays. Petco Park in San Diego, home of the Padres, hosted the series as a neutral site. This site served as part of the MLB bubble to ensure that the season can conclude with no coronavirus outbreaks.
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays kicked off their divisional series on Oct. 5th with Game 1. The opening game of the series was a pitcher’s battle featuring Gerrit Cole of the Yankees and Blake Snell of the Rays. While Blake Snell won the 2018 Cy Young Award with the Rays, some would consider Gerrit Cole the best pitcher in the 2019 season when he was with the Houston Astros. Despite the comparable star pitchers, the Yankees beat the Rays 9-3 to take a commanding lead in the series. Game 2 kicked off the next day with JA Happ pitching for the Yankees and Tyler Glasnow pitching for the Rays. The Rays quickly forgot their loss the night before and won Game 2 with a score of 7-5 to tie the series. Game 3 kicked off the next day with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound for the Yankees and Charlie Morton pitching for the Rays. The Rays beat the Yankees with a score of 8-4, giving the Rays the series lead. Game 4 was win or go home for the Yankees, and they delivered by winning 5-1. Game 5 was an elimination game and the Yankees fell short. The Yankees lost 2-1 in Game 5 after Mike Brosseau hit a game-winning home run off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the 8th inning.
The Yankees Game 5 performance left many Yankees and baseball fans with a mix of emotions. Kevin DeLeonardo, a senior business administration major, was surprised by the pitchers duel that took place. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised they lost because the Rays have been very good in the playoffs, but I was surprised they lost in such a low scoring game,” he said. “The Yankees have been scoring so many runs, so to see them score only one run in an elimination game was a little surprising. Although the Yankees postseason ended earlier than they would’ve liked, the Yankees made moves in the 2019 off-season to better their team for years to come. The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole from the Houston Astros on a $324 million contract, the largest contract in MLB history for a pitcher.