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Tyler Clippard has not been getting the job done for the Yankees

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The Yankees are in first place in the AL East with a two-game lead over the Red Sox. That’s good. That lead would be a couple of games bigger, though, if it wasn’t for the fact that they’ve lost a handful of games in the late innings recently. A big reason for that? Their setup man is not getting the job done.

Here’s Tyler Clippard‘s last five outings:

  • Last night: Clippard came into a tie game in the eighth, allowed two runners to reach, one of whom scored the go-ahead run for Oakland. The A’s went on to win in extra innings.
  • Tuesday: Clippard came into the game with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth and gave up the tying home run, the Angels went on to win in extra innings.
  • Monday: Clippard came into the game in which the Yankees led 3-2 in the seventh with two men on. He immediately gave up an RBI double, allowing the Angels to tie it up. He vultured the win after the Yankees scored two runs in the top of the eighth.
  • Last Friday: Clippard came in with a four-run lead in the eighth. He held it. The Yankees won.
  • A week ago Sunday: Clippard came in to a 2-2 game in the eighth, immediately gave up a homer to Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays won 3-2.

Summary: he’s come into the game with the Yankees either tied or in the lead five straight times. He’s blown the lead twice, once lucking into a win, once with the Yankees losing. He’s given up the go ahead run in ties twice, with the Yankees losing both games. Once he had an easy job, protecting a big cushion. Overall, he’s tossed four and a third innings, giving up four hits, two walks and three earned runs and he’s allowed an inherited runner to score.

I suspect it’s gonna be a close race in the AL East all year. If you’re in a close race you have to win close games. If your setup man is doing what Clippard’s been doing lately, you’re not gonna win a ton of close games. And, eventually, your manager is going to start going to his closer earlier and earlier, risking burning him out.

Clippard needs to right the ship. Or else the Yankees are going to need to look to someone else to handle the seventh and eighth innings.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.