The New York Yankees dropped the second game of a two game series to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-6. James Shields got the win for the Rays and Andy Pettitte took the loss for the Yankees. The loss is their fourth in fifth games, and drops the Yankees to 25-16.

Photo Credit: AP

Initial Reaction:

Andy Pettitte had it for three innings tonight. In innings 2-4, he allowed one run. However, in the other two, he allowed six runs, all of which were earned. The rest of his line includes nine hits and two walks while only striking out two. After Dave Robertson had a very strong two innings (no hits, four K’s), Chan Ho Park was up to no good again, giving up an eighth inning home run to Carlos Pena, his second of the game, which proved to be an important insurance run.

Positives From The Game:

Juan Gone: As I listened to the broadcast to spare my brain from the MLB TV broadcasters, John Sterling suggested that Juan Miranda bunt to third since he is given the Teixeira-like shift. Next pitch, he blasted the ball into the second deck in right field. I don’t think it would have gone there if he bunted.

Stay On First: Last night, the Rays stole six bases. Enter the career leader in pickoffs, Andy Pettitte. The Yankees allowed one steal tonight, with a perfectly executed 3rd inning pickoff of Ben Zobrist.

The Replacements: The three players who did not start the regular season (Miranda, Francisco Cervelli, and Randy Winn) all had great games tonight, with all of them reaching base at least twice and accounting for three of the team’s six RBIs.

Negatives From The Game:

Bottom of the 4th: Following a leadoff single by Randy Winn and back to back successful bunts by Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner, the Yankees looked like they were going to “out small-ball” the best small ball team in baseball. Then, the next three hitters were retired in order. Against a team that can manufacture runs, leaving two runners in scoring position can be a vital mistake.

While on that Issue…: The Yankees 3-4-5 hitters went 2-12 tonight with six strikeouts. It’s great that the injury bug hasn’t bitten them, but the lack of production in tonight’s game was disheartening.

Shields a Shield: Throughout the first 7.1 innings, James Shields by all means was not great, but he did more than get the job done. He allowed eight hits and four earned runs while striking out seven.

Interesting Facts:

This was Andy Pettitte’s first start this year in which the Yankees did not win the game.

In 45 innings coming into tonight, Andy Pettitte had allowed one home run. He allowed three tonight.

Derek Jeter now has exactly 10,000 plate appearances in his career.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will travel less than 10 miles to face the crosstown rival New York Mets. The game is at 7:10 PM and can be viewed on YES and SNY.

Projected Starters:

Javier Vazquez (2-4, 8.01 ERA) vs. Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 3.12 ERA)