Yankees Takeaways from Tuesday's 7-5 loss to Rays, including Aaron Boone's questionable pitching strategy

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J.A. Happ mound roundup Game 2 ALDS
J.A. Happ mound roundup Game 2 ALDS

The Rays used a couple of homers and strong pitching down the stretch to beat the Yankees 7-5 and even up the ALDS >> Box Score

Here's seven things to know from Tuesday's game

1. Aaron Boone made some headlines earlier this week by naming 21-year-old Deivi Garcia the Game 2 starter over Masahiro Tanaka, who started Game 2 of the Wild Card series last week and is known for being particularly dominant in the postseason.

Turns out it was all a ruse of sorts, as Garcia last just one inning as an opener before Boone sent in J.A. Happ to take over. No matter who ended up getting the start for New York, neither pitcher performed very well during their time out on the mound.

2. Garcia allowed a solo home run to Randy Arozarena in the first to get the Rays going early. Then Happ gave up two-run homers in back-to-back innings, one from Mike Zunino and one from Manuel Margot

If not for home runs by Giancarlo Stanton in the second and fourth, the Yankees could've been in a 5-0 hole, but instead found themselves down 5-4 after four frames.

3. Speaking of Stanton, the DH mashed a solo homer and then a three-run bomb — which brought in Aaron Hicks and Luke Voit — in the fourth to continue his home run streak this postseason. Through four games, Stanton has a home run in each game, and in fact, those home runs account for his only hits in the postseason so far.

4. Adam Ottavino and Jonathan Loaisiga were brought in for relief in the bottom of the fourth and fifth, but each gave up a run to stretch the Rays' lead to 7-4. 

5. The Yankees' offense weren't really giving the pitching staff much to work with. Only Stanton, Hicks and Clint Frazier recorded hits through the first eight innings, with Aaron Judge going 0-for-5, Gary Sanchez going 0-for-4, and Voit and Gio Urshela going 0-for-3.

6. New York made things interesting late against Peter Fairbanks, putting two on with nobody out and the tying run at the plate. Frazier bit on a ball up high in the zone on a full count for the first out and Sanchez struck out. DJ LeMahieu knocked a single out to center to bring Urshela in from second to tighten things at 7-5 and put Judge at the plate to try and make something crazy happen, but the slugger grounded out to third to end the game.

7. The Yankees tied a team postseason record with 16 strikeouts in the loss, done three other times — including Game 5 of the 2017 ALDS vs. the Indians.

What's Next

The Yankees and Rays go for the tiebreak in Game 3 of the ALDS on Wednesday night. Masahiro Tanaka and Charlie Morton will get the starts.