Mistakes hold back Yankees in Game 2 against Giants

Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton at Yankee Stadium during an MLB game on April 1, 2023.
John Allen
Sunday April 2, 2023

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The Yankees couldn’t beat the Giants on Saturday afternoon after a convincing win against them on Opening Day. They lost 7–5 at the end of the game because of their own mistakes rather than a superior display by San Francisco. There were some bright spots for the Yankees, but they failed to build on them and missed too many big pitches.

Schmidt gave away the lead

Clarke Schmidt had a hard time in his first game of the season for the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The right-hander pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up five hits, three runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. He couldn’t hold on to an early lead, and the Yankees’ ninth-inning comeback fell short.

The 27-year-old pitched smoothly through the first inning, giving up a walk but striking out two batters. He showed off his newly developed cutter seven times out of the 19 he threw in the inning. However, things went downhill from there. The right-hander threw 31 pitches in the second but ended up giving home runs to Joc Pederson and Brandon Crawford. The Giants got a 3-2 lead and put the right-hander out of the game.

Schmidt lost his balance in the fourth

Yankees' Clark Schmidt and Giants' Pederson had a long duel in Game 2 on April 1, 2023.

Schmidt showed off his new cutter a few times, and it has the potential to be a good pitch. However, Schmidt lost his balance in the fourth inning, and the Giants knocked him out of the game. First, in a 10-pitch battle, he let Joc Pederson hit a solo home run, which cut the Yankees’ lead to 2-1. Mike Yastrzemski then hit a double inside the first-base line. With one out left, Brandon Crawford jumped on a 3-0 cutter from Schmidt and hit it over the wall in right, giving San Francisco a 3-2 lead over the Yankees.

Yankees bats collapsed in the fifth

The Yankees’ bats didn’t go down quietly but were far from being expected. They got 10 hits and made a late comeback to keep things interesting. An error-prone Giants’ defense helped them a lot. The first run of the day for the Yankees came when the Giants’ starter Alex Cobb fielded a comebacker from Giancarlo Stanton and threw it into center field, allowing Aaron Judge to score. Stanton later hit his first home run of the season in the third.

In the fifth inning, another break helped the Yankees tie the game at 3-3. DJ LeMahieu hit what looked like a simple fly ball to the center to start the game, but even though Yastrzemski was wearing sunglasses, he lost the ball in the sun. LeMahieu got a double because the ball went over his head. The next batter, Judge, hit a single, and then Rizzo hit a double to right field to bring in a run. But Jakob Junis, a relief pitcher, got Stanton, Donaldson, and Torres out. No one could score a run, and the Yankees couldn’t add any.

Bullpen turned too feeble

Michael King made his first appearance of the season when he replaced Wandy Peralta in the fifth inning. He gave up two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings, and no ball left the infield.

Clay Holmes came in to try to keep the deficit at one in the top of the ninth. The right-hander gave up an RBI double to Yastrzemski and an RBI single to Crawford, giving the Giants a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.

Volpe’s failed to read the ball

In the sixth, Anthony Volpe made his first big league blunder. Thairo Estrada, who used to play for the Yankees, hit a soft shot to the shortstop. The 21-year-old shortstop lost his balance and dropped the ball, which allowed the Giants’ fifth run to score.

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