I’m getting a little worried about job security this season. The Yankees have played so many games that have followed pretty much the same script that a chatbot could generate a few paragraphs and probably get 80ish percent of the recap correct. Like we’ve seen ad naseum this year, the Yankees pitched well, did not hit at all, and lost, this time 3-0 at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Both starters had decent days, with Tyler Glasnow taking a no-hitter through 5.1. The Yankees weren’t exactly flailing around against him — Glasnow managed just eight whiffs and a 2:1 K:BB ratio — but it was another one of those games where every ball found a glove. Nine hard-hit balls came off of Yankee bats against the righthander, but only DJ’s sixth-inning line drive led to a hit.
You’d normally point to that kind of production; lots of hard hit balls and not many swings and misses, and suggest that the losing team just ran into some bad luck. Unfortunately, the Yankees seem to have a chronic amount of bad luck this year, to the point where you can no longer really call it luck.
Clarke Schmidt, meanwhile, had the longest start of his young career. Three times this year — once each in May, June and July — he’s thrown six full innings, but in engineering a fielder’s choice from Osleivis Basabe, he recorded an out in the seventh for the first time. A strikeout later ended Schmidt’s outing, with a final line of 6.2 innings, one earned run, and five strikeouts with no walks allowed. He left the seventh with a runner on second, but Wandy Peralta’s strikeout of Brandon Lowe closed the book on Schmidt’s day.
He gave up two unearned runs in the second, after Isiah Kiner-Falefa bobbled a groundball to allow a runner to reach, and Brooks Raley’s successive double put two Rays in scoring position. Back to back sac flies had Tampa up 2-0 early, but Schmidt didn’t buckle. He allowed his only earned run after booming doubles from Randy Arozarena and Josh Lowe. Lowe’s was in essence, a Tropicana Field special:
For whatever else you want to say about Harrison Bader, he’s an excellent defender, and he seemed to have no idea where that baseball was. I don’t know if he would have been able to make the out if this was in an outdoor stadium or even a domed stadium where the dome is not the exact same hue as a baseball, but at the very least his route was thrown off.
Offensively, this can be brief. DJ LeMahieu had a two-hit day, continuing his nice post-All Star Break run at the plate. The rest of the team went 0-28 with a pair of walks. Gleyber Torres in the ninth inning should have had his second walk of the day, but home plate umpire Gabe Morales apparently had dinner plans:
The silver lining(s) to today are the steps forward we saw Clarke Schmidt take as a bona fide starter, and the fact that the Yankees can still manage a series win with a victory tomorrow. Trusting that Schmidt can work deep into games has been the biggest question mark about him, and getting to see him do it against a lineup that features some thump should be very encouraging. As to a series win, New York can pull it off with a victory in the rubber game tomorrow, handing the ball to Carlos Rodón with a 1:10pm Eastern first pitch.