Carlos Rodon achieves remarkable MLB milestone as Yankees falter against Pirates

Carlos Rodon, the player of the Yankees
Amanda Paula
Sunday September 17, 2023

Table of Contents

Pittsburgh Pirates 3, New York Yankees 2

In a sun-soaked Sunday showdown in Pittsburgh, the New York Yankees fell short of completing a three-game sweep against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who secured a 3-2 victory at PNC Park. The game’s turning point came in the seventh inning, courtesy of a pivotal play by Jason Delay. His tiebreaking double capitalized on an unforeseen bounce off third base, ultimately sealing the Pirates’ win.

Carlos Rodón took the mound for the Yankees, looking to redeem a challenging 2023 season marred by injuries and inconsistent performances. In a stellar display, Rodón notched a season-high 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings, conceding just three runs without issuing a single walk. His fastball was particularly potent, generating an impressive 30% swing-and-miss rate, while his slider boasted a remarkable 40% whiff rate. This outing hinted at a potential resurgence for Rodón in the upcoming season.

Rodón’s otherwise stellar performance was marred by a lone single in the third inning and an unconventional opposite-field home run by former Yankee, Miguel Andujar. Yet, the defining moment came in the seventh inning when Jason Delay faced Rodón in a tied game. Delay’s sharply hit curveball took an unexpected bounce off the third base bag, eluding Yankees’ third baseman Oswald Peraza. The ball rolled into foul territory, allowing Jared Triolo to sprint home from second base, breaking the tie and propelling the Pirates to a 3-2 lead.

Despite their potent offense in the series’ earlier games, the Yankees struggled against the Pirates’ bullpen, mustering just four hits and three walks against a total of five Pirates pitchers. Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe injected a spark of hope with his 21st home run of the season, a solo shot in the seventh inning that briefly leveled the playing field. DJ LeMahieu chipped in with an RBI double, but the Yankees couldn’t conjure enough offense to complete the sweep.

While the loss stings, there were silver linings for the Yankees, chiefly in Carlos Rodón’s standout performance. If he can sustain this momentum into the next season, the Yankees may have the elite pitcher they envisioned when they acquired him.

Next up, the Yankees return to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, where Clarke Schmidt is set to kick off the opening game. Their mission: to play spoiler and thwart one of their AL East rivals from securing a postseason berth.

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