Yankees’ Boone ‘pretty convicted’ despite Carlos Rodon saying ‘no way’ to pullout

New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, right, watches as manager Aaron Boone takes pitcher Carlos Rodón, left, out of the game during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Esteban Quiñones
Thursday July 4, 2024

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The New York Yankees’ recent difficulties continued with a 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, as starting pitcher Carlos Rodon struggled to deliver the dominant performance needed to offset the team’s offensive shortcomings.

The Yankees’ rotation has been underperforming, with no starter lasting six or more innings since Nestor Cortes‘ seven-inning effort against the Braves on June 23. Carlos Rodon’s outing ended dramatically in the sixth inning when manager Aaron Boone came to the mound following a walk to Jeimer Candelario.

Carlos Rodon visibly disagreed with Boone’s decision to pull him, mouthing his objection “No Way, No Way, No Way” as Boone approached. After reluctantly handing over the ball, the Yankees pitcher showed his frustration by covering his face with his glove and appeared to yell into it as he exited the field.

Boone stood by his decision to pull Carlos Rodon in the sixth inning, emphasizing his confidence in the move. The Yankees manager explained his aim to conclude the pitcher’s night on a positive note, considering the pitcher’s recent difficulties. He also expressed trust in reliever Michael Tonkin’s ability to face the upcoming right-handed hitters.

“No, I was pretty convicted on, you know,” Carlos Rodon said. “You know, especially having pitched well again, I just didn’t want to get him in a bad spot at the end of the night where, you know, a mistake could have hurt him there. I like Tonkin going through those righties there. Felt like I wanted to keep it close. Not that not that Carlos wouldn’t have kept it close, but I just felt like after after he lost Candelario there, I just felt like it was the right time.”

Carlos Rodon, who had surrendered three runs on three hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings, initially showed frustration at being taken out. However, he later clarified that his reaction was rooted in competitiveness rather than anger, and he understood Boone’s rationale. Also, the decision by the Yankees manager proved rights, as Tonkin escaped the jam.

Carlos Rodon acknowledged the need to manage his emotions better in such situations, “I probably should have put the glove over my face on that one, but just a reaction to coming out. I wanted to stay in and get those last two outs.”

The bullpen, featuring Tonkin, Kahnle, and Clay Holmes, provided 3 2/3 innings of scoreless and hitless relief, creating chances for the Yankees’ offense. Despite the strong bullpen effort, the Yankees’ bats failed to seize the opportunity, resulting in a 3-2 defeat to the Reds.

A small step forward by Carlos Rodon but not enough

Despite the dramatic exit, Carlos Rodon’s performance was middling, allowing three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. This outing highlighted the Yankees’ recent pitching struggles, underscoring the need for more consistent and lengthy starts from their rotation to support their erratic offense.

New York Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodón reacts as Cincinnati Reds’ Noelvi Marte runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Carlos Rodon’s latest outing for the Yankees showed promise, despite the team’s defeat to the Cincinnati Reds. Rodón, struggling in his previous three starts, allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight.

Adjusting his approach, the left-hander reduced his reliance on the fastball, which had proven problematic in recent games. Carlos Rodon used his four-seamer just 26 percent of the time, instead leaning on his secondary pitches. This adjustment yielded positive results, as seven of his eight strikeouts came from off-speed offerings.

However, Carlos Rodon continued to battle issues with the long ball. He gave up a two-run homer to Noelvi Marte in the second inning on a mislocated fastball and a solo shot to Stuart Fairchild in the fifth on a slider. These home runs brought Carlos Rodon’s season total to 18 in 18 starts, with seven occurring in his last three appearances.

Reflecting on his performance, Carlos Rodon admitted there were pitches he wished he could take back. His record dropped to 9-6, and his ERA ticked up to 4.45, falling short of the high expectations set by his $162 million contract, particularly after a lackluster 2023 season.

“Some pitches I’d like to have back,” he said. “Thought (catcher Jose Trevino) and I worked well together. Wish I would have kept some runs off the board and given the boys a better chance. But on to the next one now.”

Boone, however, found positives in Carlos Rodon’s performance. He praised his strikeout effectiveness and the ability to keep the team in the game. While acknowledging that the home runs were a setback, Boone saw his outing as a step forward, “I thought he threw well tonight; had the strikeout ball going. Obviously, hurt him with the slug again with the two homers, but he gave us a chance to win a ballgame tonight.”

Aaron Boone concinces Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon to end his outing against the Reds at Yankee Stadium on July 3, 2024.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

Notably, this start marked Carlos Rodon’s first scoreless first inning since June 10, suggesting potential progress in his consistency and early-game performance. Aiming to regain the form that had him in All-Star contention earlier this season, he is working through a challenging debut season with the Yankees marked by injuries and inconsistency.

Carlos Rodon started strong with a perfect first inning but ran into trouble in the second when Noelvi Marte hit a two-run homer off a misplaced fastball. After retiring eight of the next nine batters, he gave up another solo home run to Stuart Fairchild in the fifth inning on a hanging slider.

In the sixth inning, after walking Jeimer Candelario, his night ended at 95 pitches with the Yankees trailing 3-0. Unlike his previous start against the Toronto Blue Jays, where Carlos Rodon persuaded manager Aaron Boone to let him continue pitching, he was unable to do so this time.

While not perfect, this outing represented a step forward for Carlos Rodon as he aims to consistently deliver performances that justify the Yankees’ significant investment in him.

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