Carlos Rodon’s cataclysmic finale spooks Yankees with an unwanted record

Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon reacts after his disastrous performance against the Royals in Kansas City on Sept. 29, 2023.

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Carlos Rodon‘s calamitous first season with the Yankees concluded on Friday night in Kansas City, and it was nothing short of catastrophic. In a nightmarish debut against the struggling Royals, he faced eight batters in the bottom of the first inning and failed to retire a single one. During this disastrous inning, Carlos Rodon surrendered eight runs on six hits while issuing two walks. With such a shocking start, the Yankees found themselves in an insurmountable deficit, ultimately losing 12-5 as they commenced their final series of the season.

His disastrous performance has etched an unfortunate mark in Yankees history, as Carlos Rodon becomes the only starter in the team’s history to concede eight runs without managing to record an out. Adding to the ignominy, according to ESPN Stats and Info, he is the first starter since Steve Matz’s 2019 outing for the New York Mets in 2019 to face eight batters without securing an out.

Carlos Rodon’s nightmarish outing saw him allow the initial eight batters he faced to reach base before manager Aaron Boone mercifully pulled him from the game, with the bases loaded and the Yankees trailing 5-0. Regrettably, all three inherited runners eventually crossed the plate, leading to eight runs being attributed to Carlos Rodon’s line. Throughout this ordeal, the Yankees starter relinquished six hits and issued two walks, all while throwing 35 pitches despite his inability to survive the first inning.

Carlos Rodon’s dreadful start is a disheartening follow-up to his recent communication with Yankees fans, where he conveyed his frustration regarding his underwhelming performance. He pledged to make amends and showcase his capabilities during the remaining five seasons of his substantial contract. In December, the pitcher inked a lucrative six-year, $162 million deal as a free agent with the Yankees. However, his on-field results have been woefully inadequate, falling far short of the expectations associated with such a substantial contract.

The disaster called Carlos Rodon

(AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

In what can be described as a season-best forgotten, Carlos Rodon delivered one final dismal start that epitomized the struggles of the year. The Yankees‘ southpaw found himself in a dire situation as he faced eight batters, throwing 35 pitches without managing to record an out.

For the second consecutive start, Carlos Rodon exhibited a noticeable decrease in velocity, including his fastball averaging 93.6 mph, which was 1.7 mph below his season average. While he had navigated past the velocity issues in his previous outing against the Diamondbacks, this time around, luck was not on his side.

The Kansas City Royals (55-105) wasted no time in capitalizing on Carlos Rodon’s vulnerability. In a nightmarish first inning, all eight batters he faced came around to score, leading to the Royals’ decisive 12-5 victory over the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium.

This outing marked the 15th home run Carlos Rodon has surrendered this season, with a career-high rate of 2.1 home runs per nine innings.

The nightmare continued as he allowed three consecutive singles and walked Logan Porter, the No. 8 hitter, on a full count, loading the bases. At this point, Yankees manager Aaron Boone decided to end Carlos Rodon’s ordeal and turned to the bullpen for relief.

Carlos Rodon wore a look of disbelief as he trudged off the mound, confronting a daunting 5-0 deficit that quickly swelled to 9-0 before the first inning could mercifully conclude.

With no other choice, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone reluctantly made the decision to terminate his night after he issued a walk to Royals catcher Logan Porter, loading the bases and prompting the arrival of reliever Matt Bowman from the visitor’s bullpen. Carlos Rodon, in a frustrating turn of events, failed to overpower any of Kansas City’s hitters, and his overall velocity was notably diminished across the board.

Ace to ass-whipped

Carlos Rodon took the loss for the Yankees against the Rockies on Friday.

Carlos Rodon’s calamitous farewell to his debut season as a Yankee has obliterated any semblance of momentum he had managed to build during the month of September. The left-hander had shown signs of improvement in his recent outings, pitching deeper into games and displaying flashes of his ace-like abilities.

While he hadn’t quite returned to the Cy Young-caliber form of his previous two seasons with the White Sox and Giants, his progress was promising. Beginning the year on the injured list due to forearm and back injuries and enduring a second IL stint for a hamstring strain in August, Carlos Rodon ultimately finished the season seemingly healthy but ineffective.

Despite building late-season momentum with a 3.50 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 18 innings across his last three starts, Friday’s disastrous performance casts a shadow over any optimism as he heads into the offseason.

Carlos Rodon expressed his anticipation for the upcoming start against Kansas City and his desire to finish the season on a positive note. He made these remarks on Sunday at Yankee Stadium after completing 6 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks.

Carlos Rodon’s ERA, spanning 13 starts in 2023, experienced a steep climb on Friday as he surrendered eight earned runs, surging from 5.74 to a bleak 6.85. This dismal outing is bound to send his confidence and morale spiraling, particularly considering it occurred against one of the weakest teams in the league. For Carlos Rodon, who endured a significant portion of the season on the injured list, this performance cements an unimpressive first impression with the Yankees that will be hard to shake.

Instead of carrying the promise of a strong September into the offseason, Carlos Rodon now faces five months of reflection on this disastrous start. As he completes the first season of his hefty $162 million deal, his future is confronted with more question marks than ever and hangs in the balance.

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