Rodon Better, But Yankee Offense Anemic. Cincinnati 3 NY 2

For the 2nd night in a row, the Yankees lost a 1-run game in excruciating fashion to Cincinnati.

In this one, Carlos Rodon looked much better — pitched well — except for 2 homerun balls that put the Yanks in a 3-0 hole. But the Yankee offense didn’t show up — sans a 2-run double by Anthony Volpe in the 7th — and NY’s losing continued, on a beautiful Wednesday night in the Bronx.

The Yanks also muffed opportunities to tie the game by hitting into double plays — one that stranded Volpe on 3rd in the 7th, and one by Volpe in the 9th that snuffed the Yanks’ last chance at a game-tying rally and turned Volpe from hero to goat on Twitter.

“A lot better than the last 3,” Some pitches I’d like to have back. Wish I’d ‘ve kept some runs off the board, given the boys a better chance. But it’s on to the next one.”

NY falls to 54-34, and drops to 2 games back of Baltimore for 1st in the AL East. Cincinnati improves to 41-45.

1. Rodon Better, Sans the Homerun Ball

The good news is that Rodon looked much better after 3 straight horrible starts.

He allowed a 2-run homer to 3rd baseman Noelvi Marte in the 2nd, and a solo homer to centerfielder Stuart Fairchild in the 5th, but otherwise was dominant — only allowing 1 other hit, pitching around 3 walks, and striking out 8 in 5.1 innings.

When asked, Rodon said he missed with location on the two pitches that resulted in homers: “I pulled that fastball down and in, it was supposed to be up. And that slider down and in — easier ball to get to; they’re looking for that slider down and in. It was 3-2, I was trying to be in the strike zone; didn’t want to walk him, and he did damage.”

Rodon loses to go 9-6 4.45.

2. Abbott Rope-a-Dope’s NY into the 7th

Meanwhile Andrew Abbott, a 25-year-old, 6′ lefty shutdown the Yanks through 6 innings. The Yanks put baserunners on in each of the first 5 innings — but couldn’t score.

  1. Juan Soto singled with 1 out in the 1st, but fly out, ground out followed.
  2. Alex Verdugo singled with 1 out in the 2nd, but fly out, strikeout followed.
  3. Juan Soto and Aaron Judge worked consecutive walks in the 3rd with 2 outs, and moved to 2nd and 3rd on a wild pitch — but JD Davis grounded out.
  4. DJ LeMahieu walked with 2 outs in the 4th, but a fly out followed.
  5. Jose Trevino walked to lead off the 5th, but groundout, fly out, fly out followed.

The Yanks went out 1-2-3 in the 6th and finally in the 7th knocked Abbott out when Jahmai Jones doubled to left with 1 out.

3. Volpe Drives in 2

Fernando Cruz, a 6’2 righty, relieved Abbott and Austin Wells pinch hit for righty Jose Trevino. Wells worked a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd — and then Anthony Volpe ripped a shot to left center that split the outfielders and went to the wall, scoring both Jones and Wells to make it a 3-2 game.

Volpe then went to 3rd on a wild pitch, and Juan Soto walked — putting 1st and 3rd with only 1 out and Aaron Judge up — the Yankees poised to tie the game.

But Aaron Judge hit a hard grounder to 3rd for a double play to end the inning.

4. Tonkin, Kahnle, & Holmes Keep Yanks In It

Meanwhile more good news for the Yanks — the bullpen is looking better. For the 2nd night in a row it pitched shutout ball. In this game, Michael Tonkin pitched 1.2 shutout innings, Tommy Kahnle pitched a shutout 8th, and Clay Holmes was filthy in a shutout 9th.

5. Yanks Try to Rally in 8th & 9th

The Yanks mounted a rally in the bottom of the 8th off reliever Lucas Sims: Ben Rice, pinch hitting, worked a leadoff walk, and with 2 outs, DJ LeMahieu singled to right to put runners on 1st and 2nd — the Yanks a basehit away from tying it.

But old friend Justin Wilson came in and struck out Trent Grisham on 3 pitches.

Austin Wells worked a terrific 10-pitch walk to lead off the 9th, but Anthony Volpe went from hero to goat by hitting 2nd pitch to 2nd for a double play.

The Yanks had one more hope with Juan Soto and Aaron Judge due up — but Soto flied out to left for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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