It’s hard to believe that, just a couple of weeks ago, this Tampa Bay Rays team — the one that, for the second-straight night, jumped on the Yankees’ starting pitcher early and often — were perfect game’d. We know it’s only May, and that it’s only a two-game sweep, and that the Yankees aren’t exactly playing with their opening-day roster — but we don’t think we’re going out on much of a limb by saying that Tampa is the team to beat in the AL East, and in all of baseball, right now.
The Rays’ incredible start to the season is all the more impressive considering how little they’ve gotten out of Carlos Pena: He entered last night’s game hitting just .185 with two home runs. But he homered twice last night, and also made a nifty play to tag out Robinson Cano on a slow grounder to first. If just to rub it in, Jim Baumbach reminds us that the Yankees once kept Pena at AAA because Andy Phillips, who was on the Major League roster, was out of options.
Once again, the Yankees found themselves down entering the ninth inning, and for the fourth-straight night, they put up runs in their last at bat. But just like they did on Wednesday night, the Rays had built up too much of a lead for it to matter. Pie this year has been a whole lot harder to come by.