Carlos Rodon earns first win backed by Bader-led Yankees’ offensive rally

Carlos Rodon earns his first win at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2023, vs. Mets.
Sara Molnick
Thursday July 27, 2023

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A thunderous roar came out of Carlos Rodon as he fanned Mets slugger Pete Alonso to conclude the fifth inning on Wednesday. It let out a spirited surge of emotion he had not displayed while wearing a Yankees jersey before and was expected when he achieved his first win in pinstripes. However, it was the effective support from the Bader-led Yankees’ offensive that assured Carlos Rodon of his win.

During his time on the injured list and three consecutive losses upon his return, along with a peculiar kiss-blowing incident, the Yankees fans were expressing their frustration with Carlos Rodon. They were disappointed that the high-priced left-handed pitcher failed up to expectations during his initial seven months with the team.

This is precisely the kind of performance the Yankees invested $162 million in. While he hasn’t reached that level just yet, it was a significant step in that direction. This display more closely resembled the Carlos Rodon who vied for a Cy Young Award in his previous two seasons, which justified the Yankees’ decision to offer him a six-year contract.

In the 3-1 triumph against the Mets, Carlos Rodon secured his inaugural win as a Yankee. The southpaw allowed four hits and issued three walks, while also tallying four strikeouts, making use of a season-high 93 pitches in front of a capacity crowd at the Bronx, marking the 14th sold-out game of the 2023 season.

Yankees happy to see Carlos Rodon is off the mark

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The New York Yankees had to wait almost four months before Carlos Rodon started delivering positive results.

Following three challenging starts at the onset of his Yankees journey, during which he went 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA and faced the infamous sarcastic kiss incident, the left-hander, with a price tag of $162 million, embarked on Wednesday with a clear goal in his own words: “to avoid sucking or at least suck less.”

Carlos Rodon triumphantly achieved his objective and channeled his emotions into passionate roars as he skillfully navigated through tough situations, ultimately providing the Yankees with the type of start he yearned for. This led to a satisfying 3-1 victory over the Mets in The Bronx.

Making his first start following the incident of being booed by Yankees fans in Anaheim the previous week, Carlos Rodon left the mound after an impressive 5 ²/₃ innings, allowing only one run. The enthusiastic ovation from the packed crowd of 46,761 in the stadium greeted him as he exited.

The night presented its challenges for Carlos Rodon, with just one inning going smoothly, but he persisted with determination, skillfully leaving seven runners stranded on base.

Carlos Rodon mentioned that he would have appreciated taking the win approximately three starts earlier, but he expressed satisfaction in having it now. The Yankees southpaw added that it was good to finally get that accomplished and intended to use this start as a foundation to progress further, curious about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Carlos Rodon delivered a superior pitching performance compared to the Mets’ left-hander, Jose Quintana, who had a delayed start to the season due to injury. This outstanding display from the Yankees starting pitcher secured a split of the Subway Series in the two-game set and also led to the Yankees winning the four-game season series against the Mets.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone acknowledged that it had been a challenging journey for the player since spring training, striving to make a return. Boone pointed out that the extended absence was difficult for him because Carlos Rodon was eager to be on the field. Being aware of the expectations placed on him as a significant part of the team, the delay in his return bothered him considerably. Nonetheless, Boone expressed relief that he is now back with the team and hopes that Carlos Rodon can maintain the positive momentum gained from this recent performance.

Even completing five innings with a lead would have been sufficient to get Carlos Rodon excited, but the challenging situation he managed to navigate pushed him beyond the brink of enthusiasm.

With a narrow two-run lead, the Mets found themselves in a tense situation, as two runners were on base with their top two hitters stepping up to the plate. Francisco Lindor hit a sharply struck line drive up the middle, but it landed directly in the glove of second baseman Oswald Peraza. Subsequently, Alonso, who had an impressive 3-for-4 performance with two home runs and five RBIs in the previous easy win at Yankee Stadium, struck out on just three pitches.

Despite having several opportunities to capitalize on Carlos Rodon, the Mets were unable to break through against the imposing left-handed pitcher.

Their most promising opportunity arose in the fifth inning, as they managed to have two runners on base with only one out. However, Carlos Rodon skillfully induced a line-out from Francisco Lindor and followed it up with a striking slider that resulted in Alonso being struck out.

On an 0-2 count, the Yankees starter executed the slider flawlessly, contributing to his impressive total of 11 swings and misses during the victory.

Carlos Rodon admitted that he was prone to lose composure occasionally during significant moments.

Following the game, Harrison Bader and Isiah Kiner-Falefa concurred that witnessing Carlos Rodon’s passionate yelling and emotional display energizes the Yankees. This type of contagious energy is exactly what the team desires as they approach the concluding months of the season.

Kiner-Falefa remarked that Carlos Rodon’s performance was impressive and described it as his first significant game in New York, where he came through for the team. This performance served as a big welcome-to-New-York moment for him. Kiner-Falefa also praised Carlos Rodon’s tenacity, referring to him as a bulldog on the field.

The Yankees starter put up an excellent display, conceding only one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. Despite his willingness to continue, manager Aaron Boone had already made up his mind to make a change. With two outs, Mark Canha managed a base hit, prompting Boone not to take any chances. Reliever Michael King then entered the game and successfully retired rookie slugger, Francisco Alvarez, eliminating the threat. A formidable bullpen performance followed, with King, Wandy Peralta, Tommy Kahnle, and closer Clay Holmes combining to throw 3 1/3 perfect innings and securing the win.

Bader-led Yankees offense backed Carlos Rodon

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Bader stood out as a standout performer for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, recording three hits and crossing home plate twice. Notably, he showcased his assertive running style with a daring dash and a headfirst dive into home plate. His agile maneuver allowed him to avoid Alvarez’s tag on a sacrifice fly from Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second inning. Additionally, Bader swiftly scored another run in the fourth inning by sprinting home on a single hit by Anthony Volpe.

In the second inning of the game between the Yankees and the Mets on Wednesday, Harrison Bader hit a double.

In an unconventional manner, Carlos Rodon acquired a 2-0 lead to work with during the second inning. The Yankees managed to load the bases with no outs and managed to score two runs through Oswald Peraza’s fielder’s choice and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s sacrifice fly. Bader showed exceptional speed, racing home just in time to contribute to the score.

In the third inning, the Mets narrowed the margin to 2-1 as Brandon Nimmo’s sacrifice fly brought home Francisco Alvarez.

However, Bader ignited yet another rally in the fourth inning by opening it with an infield single. His quick action resulted in him advancing to second base, taking advantage of a throwing error committed by third baseman Mark Vientos.

Next up was Anthony Volpe, who hit a well-executed single to the opposite field, allowing Bader to score and giving the team a 3-1 lead.

Gleyber Torres continued his remarkable performance by stretching his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games, making it the longest hitting streak achieved by a Yankee this season. Furthermore, he has been in excellent form in 22 of his last 25 games, maintaining an impressive batting average of .313 (31-for-99) along with 15 runs, four home runs, 13 RBIs, seven walks, and two stolen bases during that period.

With his bullpen delivering an outstanding performance, Carlos Rodon secured his first victory as a pitcher in a Yankees uniform.

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On Wednesday, the Yankees’ bullpen, which had struggled in July as a group, demonstrated significant improvement in relief of Carlos Rodon. The quartet of Michael King, Wandy Peralta, Tommy Kahnle, and Clay Holmes joined forces, delivering a flawless 3 ¹/₃ innings to seal the victory. With this win in hand, the Yankees now head into an off day before facing a demanding schedule against the Orioles, Rays, and Astros.

Holmes secured his 14th save of the season, further solidifying his impressive performance. Remarkably, he has managed to keep the opponents scoreless in 28 of his last 31 appearances, maintaining an outstanding 0.88 ERA and an unbeaten 4-0 record throughout that remarkable stretch.

Despite the Yankees’ ongoing concerns, such as their offense struggling against the Mets, the victory provided a small boost of momentum for the team. As they approach a crucial weekend series against the Orioles after an off day on Thursday, the win might prove to be valuable.

Boone stated that the team is fully aware of their current situation. They acknowledge that they are in the final months of the season and recognize the significance of the upcoming games and series. Despite the pressure, Boone also emphasized that this part of the season is enjoyable and exciting for the team.

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