Clarke Schmidt Puts It Together! NY Yankees 10 Oakland 5

Clarke Schmidt pitches 6 solid innings for 1st win of year.

Clarke Schmidt was on the ropes in the 2nd and in the 3rd, but bounced off those ropes to throw his best start of the season — 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 7 strikeouts — and the Yankee offense gave him plenty of cushion in the 10-5 win on a Tuesday night in the Bronx.

The Yanks put 5 runs on the board in the 3rd inning, on 2 walks, a Hot Shot by Aaron Judge that the 3rd baseman couldn’t handle, and then 3 consecutive singles and a sac fly. NY tacked on runs in the 5th and 7th on 2-run homers by Gleyber Torres and Jake Bauers and the Yanks mostly cruised to the win.

The Yankees survived the one-man offensive assault by A’s rookie 3rd baseman Jordan Diaz — who hit 3 homers.

“As I always say about Clarke, he’s never lacking for confidence,” said manager Aaron Boone about Schmidt. “Even when he goes through an outing when may struggle or whatever, he’s a confident kid out there. And fearless. I always feel he’s aggressive; it’s just harnessing it sometimes.”

NY improves to 20-17; Oakland falls to 8-29. NY is 9 games behind Tampa in dead last in the AL East.

1. Schmidt Puts It Together

One of the reasons why the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery last season for Harrison Bader was because NY knew they had another young starter from the system vying to crack the starting 5 — or at least put himself in line as a 6th starter (along with Domingo German).

Clarke Schmidt has been a top prospect for years, and pitched great out of the pen last season. This year with 3 injuries to the starting 5, Schmidt has had his chance.

But until yesterday’s game — he had been botching that chance. Yankee management seems to love his stuff — “swing and miss stuff” they call it, but have noted he keeps making mistakes to screw up start after start.

Finally, in this game, Schmidt put it together. Albiet against the A’s, the worst team in baseball.

“I think just being on the attack,” said Schmidt afterwards about his success. “After that inning, just making some slight adjustments with the fastball command — because I was cutting it a little bit early on — the sinker. Once I started to get behind it more and get more efficient with it, the shape started to be more consistent and I was able to be in the zone more with it. The curveball has been getting better and better each outing. The shape of it is really sharp. The hitters’ reactions tell a lot, when I’m out there — seeing guys kind of jump and move back a little bit — I know that it’s getting sharper.”

And even in this one, Schmidt put himself on the ropes. But he got off the ropes.

  1. Schmidt blew thru the 1st inning with 2 strikeouts, but
  2. In the 2nd, a walk, single, strikeout, groundout, put 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. But Schmidt allowed a single toΒ Jace Peterson to make it 1-0 Oakland. Peterson went to 2nd and it was still 2nd and 3rd, 2 out. On the ropes, Schmidt got a fly to center to end the inning. Phew.
  3. In the 3rd, a walk, lineout, groundout, double put 2nd and 3rd again with 2 outs. On the ropes, Schmidt struck out Shea Langeliers to end the threat. Phew again.
  4. The Yanks put a 5-spot on the board in the bottom of the 3rd for Schmidt, but he immediately coughed up a Homer to Jordan Diaz with 1 out in the 4th. It was the first of 3 homers on the evening for Diaz.
  5. But Schmidt got tougher — throwing a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th.
  6. In the 6th, a 1-out single was erased by a double play.

Schmidt left with a 7-2 lead. His line: 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 7 K’s, 2 walks, 93 pitches thrown. He goes to 1-3 5.35.

2. You Get a Single, & You Get a Single, & You Get a Single

The Yanks unloaded on A’s starter Drew Rucinski in the 3rd. Jose Trevino and Aaron Judge led off with walks, and Aaron Judge — just back from the IL — RIPPED a shot to 3rd that Jordan Diaz couldn’t handle. It went for an error — could have easily been called a hit — and scored a run to tie the game.


3. Gleyber HR

Drew RucinskiΒ  soldiered into the 5th, when Anthony Rizzo walked and Gleyber Torres hit a Homer to left for a 7-2 NY lead. Gleyber is now slashing 6-16-.256 (.345 OBP) with an .810 OPS.

4. Boone Does It Again — Pulls Pitcher with 2 Outs

Albert Abreu relieved Schmidt to start the 7th and immediately coughed up a homer to Jordan Diaz on the first pitch — the 2nd homer of the evening for Diaz.

Abreu then got a fly out, walked a batter, and got a strike out — but with 2 outs out came Aaron Boone with his penchant for removing pitchers with 2 outs in an inning.

In came Wandy Peralta — he walked the first batter he faced, then a grounder hit the umpire and went for an infield single. It was bases loaded, 2 outs, the tying run at the plate in a 7-3 game.

But Wandy got Aguilar to hit a slow grounder to 3rd that Isiah Kiner-Falefa made an excellent play on to end the inning. Phew.

5. Bauers HR Seemingly Puts It Away

Jake Bauers seemingly put the game away with a 2-run homer to left centerfield in the 7th — to make it 9-3 NY.

6. Diaz Hits 3rd Homer

Jordan Diaz hit his 3rd homer of the evening — off Greg Weissert in the 8th — and it was 9-5. Weissert struck out the last 2 batters of the inning.

7. Volpe Triple; Judge Sac Fly

Anthony Volpe broke out of a mini slump by leading off the bottom of the 8th with a triple. Aaron Judge hit a sac fly to bring him home and make it 10-5. What would become a pretty important insurance run!

8. Still Needed Holmes to Finish

Weissert allowed an infield single and walk to start the 9th, and was relieved by Clay Holmes. Holmes struck out the first 2 batters he faced on 6 pitches — then threw a strike to Shea Langeliers before throwing 4 straight balls.

Bases loaded, 2 outs. It was starting to get a little dicey again.

But Holmes struck out Tony Kemp on 3 pitches for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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