Blasted, booed, and bruised, Carlos Rodon back to his bad self

Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodón (55) is pulled in the fourth inning when the New York Yankees played the Atlanta Braves Friday, June 21, 2024 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

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New York Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodon had a rough outing against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night at Yankee Stadium, resulting in an 8-1 defeat for the Yankees.

Carlos Rodon’s performance was a sharp departure from his stellar seven-inning, one-run effort earlier this month against the Kansas City Royals, which had lowered his ERA to below 3.00 and suggested a positive turnaround in his inaugural season with the Yankees.

However, Carlos Rodon’s subsequent starts have raised concerns. His pitches, especially his fastball, have lost their edge, allowing opposing hitters to capitalize on his errors. After his strong showing in Kansas City, the pitcher faltered in his next appearance at Fenway Park, conceding five earned runs to the Boston Red Sox.

Friday’s game against the Braves was Carlos Rodon’s worst yet this season. He gave up 11 hits, one shy of his career-high, and seven earned runs. The Braves’ offense was unrelenting from the beginning, with leadoff batter Jarred Kelenic singling on his first pitch, followed by Ozzie Albies hitting a two-run homer to left field.

In a tough outing for Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon, the Atlanta Braves maintained a relentless offensive drive, culminating in an 8-1 victory on Friday night. Austin Riley and Matt Olson both launched home runs off Rodón, in the first and fourth innings, respectively. The situation deteriorated further when Sean Murphy’s RBI double, along with a misplay by left fielder Jahmai Jones, prompted Yankees manager Aaron Boone to pull Carlos Rodon from the game.

Yankees' Carlos Rodon during the game against the Atlanta Braves on June 21, 2024.
Talkin Yanks

As Carlos Rodon exited the mound, he was met with loud boos from the Yankee faithful. After the game, the pitcher acknowledged the fans’ reaction, admitting his performance was below expectations.

“It’s just part of it,” he said. “I didn’t perform obviously to the best of my ability and that’s just how it goes here.”

Despite the poor results, both Boone and Carlos Rodon identified some positive adjustments during the game. The Yankees lefty increased his reliance on secondary pitches to counter the Braves’ aggressive hitting. He credited Atlanta for their effective strategy, particularly their early attacks on his fastball.

Reflecting on the game, Carlos Rodon expressed his disappointment but emphasized the importance of moving forward. He acknowledged the Braves’ strong performance and stressed the need to learn from this experience as the season continues.

“They came out swinging,” Carlos Rodon admitted. “They did some damage on some fastballs. Two pitches in, two runs down. I was trying to get [the fastball up] and they attacked me on my strengths and executed their swings. I tip my cap to them, obviously. Not the way I wanted to go, but just gotta turn the page on that one. That was rough.”

Carlos Rodon let the Yankees’ hopes down

From the outset, the Braves asserted their dominance. Carlos Rodon’s struggles began immediately, with his first pitch being hit for a single and his second pitch resulting in a two-run homer by Ozzie Albies. This early setback visibly frustrated Rodón and set the tone for the evening.

The Braves, currently 12th in runs per game, maintained their offensive pressure. Austin Riley added to the onslaught with a home run in the first inning. In the second, Jarred Kelenic’s RBI single further compounded Rodón’s difficulties.

New York Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodón watches a two-run home run by Atlanta Braves’ Matt Olson during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 21, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

A particularly tough moment for the Yankees came when Sean Murphy’s ground ball slipped past the defense and was mishandled by substitute left fielder Jahmai Jones, allowing an additional run to score and Murphy to advance to third base.

The crowd of 45,226 did not hide their disappointment, loudly booing as Carlos Rodon left the mound. The intensity of the negative reaction was striking, given the Yankees’ strong 51-27 record.

Carlos Rodon’s performance was reminiscent of his struggles from the previous season, raising concerns about his consistency and effectiveness against top-tier offensive teams. Despite the Yankees’ overall success this year, his rocky start underscored ongoing challenges that need to be addressed as the season progresses.

The crowd at Yankee Stadium voiced their frustration loudly in the third inning when Ramón Laureano’s double drove in a run. Their discontent grew even more in the fourth inning with Matt Olson’s two-run homer, prompting a chorus of boos.

Carlos Rodon’s night came to an end shortly after he issued a walk and Sean Murphy lined a double. His departure raised his ERA to 3.86, renewing concerns about his ability to sustain effectiveness as the season progresses, a recurring issue during his time with the Yankees. Television cameras caught several moments of Carlos Rodon’s visible frustration, including what appeared to be an outburst directed at a coach early in the game, and a distraught demeanor as he exited the mound.

Following the game, Carlos Rodon attributed his emotional response to disappointment over his first-inning performance, where he surrendered three runs, including two home runs.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged Carlos Rodon’s intensity, interpreting it as a reflection of the pitcher’s commitment and drive for success. Boone emphasized the high stakes of their season and expressed no concerns about Carlos Rodon’s passionate reaction to his struggles.

“We’re playing for a lot,” the Yankees manager said. “No issue with his intensity coming out. He wanted and expected more.”

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