Clarke Schmidt. Judge & Rizzo HR’s, & Lotsa 2-Out RBI Hits. NY 6 Cincinnati 2

Clarke Schmidt pitched 5 shutout innings, Aaron Judge hit another BOMB to centerfield, Anthony Rizzo popped one to right, and the Yankees scored 5 of their 6 runs on 2-out hits — including 3 in the 9th to put the game away.

The Yankee bullpen of Jimmy Cordero, Albert Abreu, Wandy Peralta, and Nick Ramirez was terrific.

Final score: NY 6 Cincinnati 2 — on a Friday night in Cincinnati.

There was some controversy as Clarke Schmidt was asked to wash his wrist at the start of the 5th inning, as the Rosin mixed with his black glove’s leather caused a black stain on his wrist — which caused Cincinnati’s manager David Bell to get tossed complaining that Schmidt wasn’t tossed. The 2nd time this scenario had played out in a month!

“I’m using a black glove,” said Clarke Schmidt afterwards. “And there’s black fur inside the glove. And throughout the game, sweating & rosin built up on the back of my wrist where the fur sits. It raised a question, and so the home plate umpire checked it — he checked my hands and there was nothing wrong — they weren’t sticky at all. He saw the black line on the back of my wrist and asked me to go clean it off.”

NY improves to 27-20, 6.5 behind Tampa and now fully back in 3rd place (3 games behind Baltimore). Cincinnati drops to 19-25, 5 games back in the NL Central.

1. Judge Another Bomb to Center

“Why is anyone pitching to Judge?,” asked sports analyst John Snyder in the 1st inning. “The guy is so locked in. Crushed #13 to center in the 1st.”

And indeed he had — off Reds’ starter Ben Lively, who came in with a 1-1 1.69 record.

PS: Aaron Judge had 14 homers at this point last year. This year he has missed a week with injury so far.

2. Schmidt Shutout through 5 Innings

Staked to a 1-0 lead, Clarke Schmidt took the mound and pitched shutout ball — although he worked around a lot of leadoff walks or singles.

Facing a lineup of predominantly right-handed batters, Schmidt threw 5 shutout innings before leaving with 2 runners on in the 6th. Schmidt:

  • Pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 1st, with 2 strikeouts.
  • Allowed a leadoff walk in the 2nd but got a double play.
  • Allowed a leadoff walk and single in the 3rd, but got a strikeout, then Kyle Higashioka threw out the lead runner Henry Ramos trying to steal 3rd. Schmidt then struck out Jonathan India to end the inning.

  • Allowed a leadoff single in the 4th, but then got 3 straight outs.
  • Allowed a 2-out walk in the 5th, but then struck out shortstop Jose Barrero to end the inning.
  • Allowed a leadoff single, then double to Matt McLain in the 6th — and left with 2nd and 3rd nobody out — NY up 3-0.

Jimmy Cordero came in and allowed an immediate double to leftfielder Jake Fraley to make it a 3-2 game — the runners both charged to Schmidt. His line: 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 6 K’s, 2 walks. He got the win to go 2-4 6.00.

“The Number 1 thing is making progress and getting better each time out,” said Schmidt afterwards. “We feel like we’ve been getting there — closer and closer. We feel like the locations we’re getting to, the shapes of the pitches have been getting consistently better, the strike throwing — the percentages and stuff — and so to have the results tonite and be able to get a win was a really good feeling for me — obviously to help the team win on a good roadtrip so far is a big feeling.”

Schmidt credited his sinker for his success: “It was really good for me; being able to get it inside on the righties and get it down and away on some of these guys and open up the breaking ball — everyone knows my breaking balls are my bread and butter — but when I have really good fastball command with both the sinker and the cutter it makes my breaking pitches a little bit better.”

3. Lively Was Lively

After the Judge homer Ben Lively settled down — not allowing another run into the 6th. The 31-year-old has been in and out of the majors since 2017, when he went 4-7 4.26 for Philly in 14 starts — his best success so far. Since then he’s bounced around — with Kansas City, Arizona, and now with Cincinnati.

He didn’t look like a journeyman in this game — using off-speed stuff — a 78-MPH slider, 74-MPH curveball, and 84-MPH changeup intermixed with a 90-MPH fastball to offset the Yankee lineup.

He struck out 8 in 5.1 innings.

4. Rizzo 2-Run Homer in 6th

Lively struck out Aaron Hicks and Jake Bauers to start the 6th, but then a walk to Aaron Judge ended his evening.

Righthander Ian Gibout was brought in to face lefty Anthony Rizzo, who immediately padded the Yankee lead with a 2-out, 2-run homer to right.

5. Cordero Works Out of 6th Inning Jam

After coming in and allowing the double to make it 3-2, Cordero then allowed a walk and a groundout to put 2nd and 3rd, only 1 out — with the score NY 3 Cincinnati 2.

But Cordero got out of it with ferocity — striking out centerfielder Nick Senzel (#2 pick in 2016 draft) and Ramos to end the inning as he walked off the mound Psyched!

6. Abreu & Wandy Terrific

With the Yanks hanging onto a precarious 3-2 lead, Albert Abreu pitched a shutout 7th — strikeout, groundout, walk, fly out — and Wandy Peralta pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning — strikeout, strikeout, groundout.

7. Higgy Redemption

The Yanks had a chance to get an insurance run in the 7th, when Anthony Volpe singled with 1 out and Oswaldo Cabrera laid a perfect bunt single down the 3rd base line. The runners moved up to 2nd and 3rd on an error by Ian Gibaut the pitcher, attempting to pick off Cabrera.

With 1 out, 2nd and 3rd — Kyle Higashioka struck out — and the boos rained down on Yankee Twitter (not in Cincinnati where the game was played) — a multitude of Yankee fans asking for him to be immediately replaced by Ben Rortvedt and/or DFA’d as soon as Jose Trevino was back from the hamstring pull.

But in the 9th, Higgy got redemption.

Gleyber Torres led off the 9th with a walk, and with 2 outs, Oswaldo Cabrera walked.

Up stepped Higgy to line a double to left for a HUGE insurance run and a 4-2 Yankee lead. Yankee Twitter did an about face. Higgy was the hero of the moment.

A walk to DJ LeMahieu brought up Harrison Bader who ripped a single to center scoring both runners for the 6-2 lead.

8. Ramirez to Close

Clay Holmes was warming in the pen to come into the game for the bottom of the 9th, but once the Yanks made it 6-2, he sat down and Nick Ramirez came in instead.

Ramirez got a groundout, walk, and then 5-4-3 double play for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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