ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse than Fright-day Night at the Trop, along came Shudder-day Night.
In what was, statistically, the worst performance by a New York Yankees starter in a century, and maybe the worst all-around team performance in a decade, the Yankees got crushed 16-1 by the Tampa Bay Rays.
How bad was it? So bad that Yankees manager Joe Girardi had to turn to infielder Dean Anna to pitch the eighth inning.
The gory details:
No good: Nova had a nightmare of a game, allowing a career-high four home runs, including two to Ryan Hanigan, the No. 9 hitter in the Rays lineup.
Nova then left the game at an opportune moment -- two on, none out and Evan Longoria at the plate -- in the fifth inning with what was announced as "right elbow soreness." Two starts back, Nova allowed seven earned runs in 3⅔ innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
Historic performance: According to Katie Sharp of ESPN Stats & Info, Nova is the only Yankees starter in the past 100 years to allow at least eight earned runs and four home runs in four innings or fewer.
Archenemy: The Yankees have now faced Rays starter Chris Archer four times, lost four times and scored a grand total of four earned runs in 28⅔ innings (1.35 ERA). On Saturday, Archer worked into the seventh inning, allowing just three hits (one an infield single) and one run.
Long gone: Who else but Longoria would hit the most impressive homer of all, a moon shot off a first-pitch curveball that nearly hit the top of the dome before landing on the furthest catwalk from home plate, way back in the left-field seats? Ben Zobrist was aboard, giving the Rays a 4-0 lead in the third inning. It gave Longoria the all-time Rays franchise lead, which, if you've seen him hit against the Yankees, you would have thought he already had.
The Daley Double: Wil Myers hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot, off Daley, who was called up Friday night from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Girardi left Daley in for mop-up duty, but after he allowed four more runs, the manager mercifully pulled him and brought in Dellin Betances with one out in the sixth.