Clarke Schmidt’s first home start brings hope to Yankees

Yankees' starter Clarke Schmidt

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MIAMI — Yankees’ rotation member Clarke Schmidt is eagerly looking forward to his first start in Atlanta’s Truist Park, which is barely 15 minutes from his parental home. With high hopes of him playing on his home turf, the Yankees too expect a big moment at their critical juncture.

The Braves give a hard time to pitchers from other teams, but the Yankees’ starting pitcher is going to feel comfortable even when playing on the Braves’ home turf. Clarke Schmidt is going to do something new in his four years of playing. He’s going to pitch against the team he cheered for when he was younger. And it’s also the first time he will be pitching closest to his home.

Clarke Schmidt is the local boy in Atlanta

Clarke Schmidt is from Acworth, a suburb of Atlanta. He’ll be staying at his own house and is excited because about 50 of his friends and family are coming to see him play against Max Fried on Monday. It’s the first game of a really big series.

The Yankees starting pitcher mentioned with a smile that he might be playing without money this week, referring to the tickets he had gotten. He also mentioned that it would be wonderful to meet everyone in the city and have a chat. Clarke Schmidt is super excited to start the Yankees vs. Braves Game 1.

However, it won’t be an easy job waiting for Clarke Schmidt. The Braves just had a big series against the Mets, and they’re at the top in a lot of important stats in baseball. They’re leading in runs, hitting home runs by a lot, and they’re also doing well in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, among other things.

The Yankees just had a tough loss in a game and the whole series against the Marlins. On Sunday, the Marlins scored five runs in the ninth inning to come back and win 8-7. This pushed the Yankees five games behind in the race for a wild-card spot. They look to Clarke Schmidt for an excellent performance to boost their sagging fortune.

Clarke Schmidt is most reliable after Cole

The only reliable pitchers left in the Yankees’ rotation are Gerrit Cole (who pitched on Sunday) and Schmidt. This makes Monday’s game even more important.

Atlanta’s recent performance adds to the importance of the game. Clarke Schmidt saw from a distance as the Braves scored 21 runs in a single game against the Mets this weekend.

According to Clarke Schmidt, confronting a lineup of that caliber presents a challenge, irrespective of the outcomes. He noted his ability to stand his ground against formidable lineups like the Rangers’ and Orioles’ throughout the current season. Clarke Schmidt emphasized that this experience contributed to his personal growth, regardless of whether the performance was positive or not. The Yankees starter also pointed out that he had encountered numerous strong lineups during the year and consistently gained insights that were absent before those encounters.

Clarke Schmidt is familiar with strong Braves lineups. When he was younger, he looked up to Chipper Jones, his favorite player. He also admired Tim Hudson, who was a pitcher known for controlling the game and keeping batters uncertain. Clarke Schmidt now follows a similar approach, focusing on control and surprising hitters.

Usually, when Clarke Schmidt is pitching in a game, he can ignore the actual sounds around him and concentrate on the catcher’s glove. However, there’s someone special who can still get through to him even in those moments – his mom, Renee.

Clarke Schmidt mentioned that if he’s having difficulties during a game, like throwing inaccurate pitches, his mom would be the one making the most noise. He explained that she was the person who would attempt to help him regain focus. Typically, he can easily recognize her voice and use it to get back on track.

As Clarke Schmidt progressed in the Yankees’ system, he would sometimes hear people comparing him to others, and he felt happy and honored by those comparisons. At 27 years old, he is making a name for himself as the second-best starting pitcher in a Yankees rotation that doesn’t have many strong options. This year, Clarke Schmidt is having his best season so far, and he’s looking forward to keeping up his performance against top players like Ronald Acuna, Jr. and Matt Olson, who are known for being some of the best hitters in baseball.

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