The Yankees lost their 77th game of the season on Sunday, falling 7-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a rain-soaked contest in New York. They’re officially eliminated from postseason contention, and as we’ve all anticipated for most of the last six weeks, they’ll be watching the October festivities from home for the first time since 2016.
Carlos Rodón’s lost season is a pretty solid avatar for how things have gone as a whole this year, and despite having a chance to leave a good taste in our mouths entering the offseason, things got off on the wrong foot pretty much immediately. Gabriel Moreno began the game with a single through the left side, and the heat turned all the way up just a batter later, when a similar Corbin Carroll single into center field resulted in both runners reaching scoring position on a misplay from Estevan Florial.
Rodón then recorded three consecutive outs to end the innings, but all three of them were fly balls that made it deep enough into the outfield to score both runs.
Zac Gallen was sharp in the early going, and the Yankees’ first real opportunity came in the third inning, when DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge worked back-to-back walks with two outs. The Yankees then either benefited from or were hindered by a ball off the bat of Gleyber Torres being ruled dead after an umpire couldn’t quite evade his grounder. It depends on whether you think Geraldo Perdomo would have been able to field it, as I’m inclined to think he would have.
Here's one you don't see every day: Gleyber Torres hits the umpire. On umpire interference here, ball was ruled dead and the batter was awarded first base. Runners were sent back to 2nd & 3rd, Yanks did not score. pic.twitter.com/sdVCXZXLhI— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) September 24, 2023
Gallen then drew a 6-3 groundout to end the inning. Despite having some of his lowest velocity of the season on a wet and chilly day in the Bronx, Rodón settled in quite nicely after his rocky first inning, taking advantage of the conditions to draw weak contact and not letting another runner on base until the fifth. That runner, Jordan Lawlar, was swiftly caught stealing, which meant that Rodón faced the minimum 18 hitters between the second first-inning single and the top of the seventh, when Tommy Pham led off with a single.
It was still a 2-0 ballgame at that point, because Gallen also cruised through his half of six innings with the aforementioned bases-loaded scare being the only threat to the status quo. There were a few fly balls on either side that probably would have done more damage in warmer environs but found gloves today, including a fantastic grab from Alek Thomas on a smoked liner from Oswald Peraza that had extra bases written all over it.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a 2-0 game much longer, because Christian Walker followed up Pham’s seventh inning hit with a single of his own, and after Lourdes Gurriel Jr. moved them into scoring position with a fielder’s choice, Aaron Boone left Rodón in to face Evan Longoria, a decision which did not bear fruit.
Things didn’t get any better for Randy Vásquez, who induced a routine fly ball off the bat of Lawlar that Isiah Kiner-Falefa simply dropped.
IKF drops this one in left pic.twitter.com/MStitRXTi8— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) September 24, 2023
The rainy weather led to sloppy defense on both sides today, but this and a late fly ball that neither Florial nor Jake Bauers succeeded in catching represented the pits.
The D-backs tacked on additional run off of Vásquez in the eighth, when Corbin Carroll blooped a double into short left field, advanced to third on a Pham single, and scored on a Christian Walker ground out. The Yankees offense continued to go down quietly against the Arizona bullpen, which relieved Gallen after six innings. Ryan Thompson worked an easy seventh, and while they got a double from Aaron Judge and loaded the bases again in the eighth against Kevin Ginkel, they couldn’t get anything from it. Perdomo and Moreno combined a walk and a hit to bring home another run in the eighth.
The offense finally showed a little life in the ninth, when Bauers and Oswaldo Cabrera put up a pair of softly-hit doubles to welcome Luis Frías to the game, and a pair of two-out walks scratched a run across, but it was too little, too late, and a rainy third out brought this game — and the Yankees playoff hopes — to an official end.
That being the case, tomorrow afternoon marks the Yankees’ last home game of the season, a makeup afternoon affair at 1:05pm ET that will pitch Clarke Schmidt against Merrill Kelly as the Diamondbacks look to solidify their first postseason outing since 2017. We’ll be here for it and for the remainder of this disappointing team’s meaningless September.