Grayson Rodriguez Outdoes Schmidt. Yanks Threaten But Can’t Break Through. Baltimore 2 NY 0

Young 6’5 righty ace Grayson Rodriguez outdid Clarke Schmidt, and the Yankees threatened all night with 10 baserunners, but couldn’t break through in the 2-0 loss on a warm Monday night in Baltimore.

Schmidt allowed a solo homer to young shortstop star Gunnar Henderson as the first batter of the game, and Rodriguez and the Baltimore pen made that stand up. The Orioles got an insurance run in the 8th when Anthony Volpe booted a routine 2-out grounder with a runner on 3rd.

The Yanks had at least one baserunner in 8 of the 9 innings, and had 1st and 3rd only 1 out in the 3rd, but Judge struck out. Judge singled his 1st time up, and hit long fly balls to the right-field wall in the 5th and 7th.

“Well, Rodriguez has really good stuff,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Look we had our chances tonight — what did we have 10 or 12 baserunners? We just have to keep giving ourselves a chance like that and trust we’ll break through. I thought we put together a lot of good at bats. Volpe had good at bats at the top. Judgie just missed a couple. They made a couple of good plays too. One of those nights; frustrating because you put together some really good at bats but don’t break through.”

NY falls to 19-11; Baltimore improves to 18-10 — the two are tied for 1st in the AL East.

1. Schmidt Pitched Great

Clarke Schmidt pitched great again. He made a mistake to the 1st batter of the game, Gunnar Henderson — a knuckle curve on a 2-2 pitch that Henderson hit 410 feet to right for a 1-0 Baltimore lead. It was Henderson’s 10th homer of the season — he is tied with Mike Trout for the Major League lead.

Schmidt then allowed a 1-out single in the 1st, but got through the inning on 22 pitches.

His pitch count reduced inning by inning as he started to blow through the Baltimore lineup. Schmidt had a 10-pitch 3rd inning and a 12-pitch 4th inning.

He was throwing smoke, and nasty 93-MPH backdoor cutters. His 83-MPH knuckle curve was curving, making his 94-MPH sinker more difficult to pick up. And then came the 86-MPH sweeper.

Schmidt got the 1st out of the 6th, walked 1st baseman Ryan O’Hearn, and then struck out right fielder Anthony Santander for the 2nd out. But Boone pulled him at 92 pitches. Boone has a long-standing habit of pulling pitches with 2 outs in an inning, often costing them a chance to win a game.

It was however, Schmidt’s longest outing of the year.

Dennis Santana came in to get the last out of the 6th.

2. Top Prospect Rodriguez Rope-a-Dopes Yanks

Grayson Rodriguez was the #11 overall pick of the 2018 June draft — part of the booty of high picks the Orioles got by being so bad from 2017 to 2021 (when they lost over 108 games 3 times, not including COVID).

Rodriguez allowed baserunners, but pitched around them.

3. Judge Gives Another One a Ride

Cionel Perez continued to pitch in the 7th, allowing a leadoff bunt single to Trent Grisham.

But Perez got two groundouts and was relieved by Yennier Cano.

With 2 outs and the runner on, Aaron Judge again looked like he got one off the bat — a long fly ball to opposite field right — but this one was caught in the warning track.

4. Santana Good

After getting the last out of the 6th, Dennis Santana pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th — another fine performance from him.

5. Volpe Error Gives Baltimore Insurance

Caleb Ferguson got into trouble in the 8th — hitting Gunnar Henderson with a pitch with 1 out, then allowing a single to Adley Rutschman. But he got O’Hearn to fly out for the 2nd out.

Clay Holmes came in and got Santander to hit a routine ground ball to shortstop for the final out — but Volpe booted it and Baltimore had an insurance run as Henderson scored.

6. Coulombe the Save

Gleyber Torres singled to lead off the 9th off Cano, and again the Yanks had a baserunner and were a homer away from tying it.

Danny Coulombe came in for the save. The 34-year-old veteran who spent years in Oakland and Minnesota throws in an unorthodox way — nearly falling off the mound to the right with every pitch.  He got fly out, fly out, and ground out for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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