Aaron Boone defends Carlos Rodon in defiance of outcry by Yankees fans

New York Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodón, right, hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, June 21, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
Inna Zeyger
Saturday June 22, 2024

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In a tough night at Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodon had his shortest start of the season, yielding eight runs (seven earned) in an 8-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday. This performance marks a major setback for the Yankees left-hander, who had been showing signs of improvement following a difficult 2023 season.

Carlos Rodon’s frustration was palpable as television cameras caught him yelling at a member of the coaching staff after the first inning. Despite this, Yankees manager Aaron Boone stood by his pitcher, emphasizing Carlos Rodon’s intensity and the high stakes of their season. Boone viewed the lefty’s outburst as a sign of his commitment to delivering better results.

“We’re playing for a lot,’’ the skipper said. “[I have] no issue with his intensity coming out. He wanted and expected more.”

However, the manager, despite Carlos Rodon’s worst outing, continues to back him and tried to project his failure as a part of the Yankees’ broader letdown. He dithered to call it a bad outing and stressed the need for the team to tighten up in various aspects of their game.

“This is part of it,” Boone said about the pitcher’s woeful outing. “It’s been a rough week for us. In a lot of ways, it’s not the worst thing to happen. We’ll get through this stretch here and Carlos will, too.”

The Braves exploited Carlos Rodon’s fastball, collecting their first five hits and two of three home runs off the pitch. This aggressive approach against his fastball has been a recurring problem for him in recent games.

Yankees pitcher Carlos Rodón (55) is pulled in the fourth inning when the New York Yankees played the Atlanta Braves Friday, June 21, 2024 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

Boone addressed the team’s recent struggles, suggesting that these challenges could serve as valuable lessons and a reminder of the inherent difficulties in baseball.

But Yankees fans unforgiving of Carlos Rodon

The New York Yankees’ pitching woes intensified on Friday as Carlos Rodon struggled against the Atlanta Braves, following limited outings by Gerrit Cole on Wednesday and Luis Gil on Thursday. Carlos Rodon, who had faced difficulties in his previous start against the Boston Red Sox, continued to struggle, particularly with his fastball.

The crowd’s boos echoed Carlos Rodon’s struggles from the previous season, underscoring the high expectations and pressures he faces. This latest setback comes amid a rough patch for the Yankees, highlighting the need for resilience and improvement as they push through their campaign.

Carlos Rodon had a tough night on the mound against the Atlanta Braves, with Austin Riley’s solo home run in the first inning setting the stage for a challenging outing. He was visibly frustrated in the dugout after the inning, later explaining that his reaction was due to the early deficit.

Carlos Rodon pointed to the Braves’ aggressive approach, particularly against his fastball, as a key factor in his rough outing. The Yankees pitcher acknowledged the early deficit and expressed a determination to move forward from this challenging game.

Yankees' Carlos Rodon during the game against the Atlanta Braves on June 21, 2024.
North Jersey

“They came out swinging and did some damage on the fastballs,’’ he said. “Two pitches in, two runs down. Just turn the page on that one. That was rough.”

Carlos Rodon’s performance deteriorated further, as he allowed more runs than in any other start this season. He gave up 11 hits, the most since a 2016 game against the Yankees when he was with the White Sox.

Despite managing to avoid additional damage in the second and third innings, Carlos Rodon’s struggles continued in the fourth with a two-run homer by Matt Olson. His night ended after 93 pitches following an RBI double by Sean Murphy. This outing represented a significant setback for him and raised concerns about the stability of the Yankees’ pitching staff.

Carlos Rodon’s ERA has climbed from 2.93 to 3.86 over his last two starts. In response, he and pitching coach Matt Blake plan to emphasize the use of secondary pitches earlier in games to mitigate this vulnerability.

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