Clarke Schmidt pitched well enough for the first 4 innings, and Frankie Montas came in for his first appearance of the season — pitching 1.1 innings — to get the win, as Yankee youngsters Oswaldo Cabrera and Everson Pereira ripped Clutch, 2-out RBI singles in the 4th to tie the game 2-2, and Estevan Florial ripped a clutch 2-out RBI single in the 6th to put NY ahead 3-2.
The Yanks go to 82-79 — guaranteeing a winning season for the 31st consecutive year. This was clearly a game the Yanks wanted to win badly, as noted by Michael Kay on the broadcast, and they gritted it out.
When asked if attaining a winning season was motivating the team at all, Clarke Schmidt said “Yea. Obviously we fell short of what we set out to do this year. None of us are happy about what has happened this year. The least that we can do is continue to compete towards the end. We’re not going to mail it in at all. To continue to show fight and grit, there’s something to be said about that. To be able to finish the last few games strong, there’s something to be said for sure.”
The Yanks are now 82-79 — the same record the Mets finished with in 1973 — the season that sparked manager Yogi Berra‘s comment “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” and Tug McGraw‘s “Ya Gotta Believe” — when the Mets won the Division Title, and went on to win the Pennant and get into the World Series. KC falls to 55-106.
1. Schmidt Struggled But Competed
Schmidt was not at his best — but he struggled through.
- He allowed a run in the 1st on 3 singles, the last one by Nelson Velasquez with 2 outs to score a run and make it 1-0 KC.
- Schmidt allowed a leadoff double in the 2nd, but got fly out, fly out (to move the runner), and strikeout to end the inning.
- He allowed a leadoff single to Bobby Witt Jr in the 3rd, but Witt was thrown out by Kyle Higashioka trying to steal 2nd. Good thing because the batter, Salvador Perez, then hit a homer to left for a 2-0 KC lead.
- In the 4th Schmidt allowed consecutive 2-out singles, and threw a wild pitch to put runners on 2nd and 3rd — but struck out Maikel Garcia in a 7-pitch at bat to end the inning.
By that time the Yanks had tied the game 2-2, and Schmidt was lifted at 64 pitches for Frankie Montas to start the 5th.
Schmidt ends the season with 32 starts and a 9-9 4.64 record.
When asked by Meredith Marakovits what he’d be doing this winter, Schmidt said “I want to clean up the sinker and cutter — being able to distinguish the two as far as pitch shapes. And be able to continue to repeat the delivery and get more consistent with the release point. Being able to have a more consistent release point will help the pitch shapes and be able to manage that throughout the year. There was definitely some fatigue at the end of the season for sure, and to be able to be at my strongest in October is something that I want to strive for.”
2. Oswaldo & Pereira Come Thru in Clutch to Tie It 2-2
The Yanks tied the game in the top of the 4th against KC’s Alec Marsh.
With 2 outs, Oswaldo Cabrera got a Clutch RBI single to centerfield. KC 2 NY 1.
Next batter Everson Pereira got a Clutch RBI single to centerfield and it was a 2-2 tie.
3. Montas Makes 1st Appearance of Year
Frankie Montas made his first appearance of the season — back recovered from the shoulder surgery that had kept him out the last year. He got 3 groundouts in the bottom of the 5th, sandwiching a 2-out walk.
4. Florial & Gleyber Come Thru in Clutch to Put NY Ahead
Kyle Higashioka led off the 6th with a single off Marsh, and Oswaldo Cabrera bunted him to 2nd. It was the 2nd time in 2 days that Cabrera bunted a runner over — he has become the modern day Phil Rizzuto of the Yankees.
5. Weissert Bails Out Montas
Weissert then struck out Nick Pratto and Maikel Garcia to end the inning, stranding the runners on 2nd and 3rd.
6. Hamilton Terrific
Ian Hamilton relieved Weissert after a leadoff walk in the 7th, and got pop out, double play, and then pitched a shutout 8th — navigating 2 singles but picking Massey off 2nd to end the inning.
7. Holmes Terrific
Clay Holmes pitched a perfect 9th — strike out, strike out, ground out for the old ballgame.