The New York Yankees’ highly-touted left-hander Carlos Rodon, 31, collapsed again.
Rodon suffered his third loss of the season after giving up six runs on four hits (two home runs), five walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings of work in the third game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on Tuesday (20 June).
It was 0-0 in the first inning. One out later, he walked Shohei Ohtani and gave up a leadoff single to Taylor Ward. With a 1B-2S count in his favour, he sent a seven-pitch curveball over the left field fence for a wild pitch. He then struck out Mickey Moniak and got Eduardo Escobar to fly out to left field to end the inning.
Down 0-2, the second inning was also shaky. Coincidentally, it was the same route as the first inning. After giving up a leadoff walk to Hunter Renfroe, Luis Lengifo hit a two-run homer to left-centre field. It was a three-pitch, 95.5-mph (153-kilometre) four-seam fastball that formed high on a 1B-1S pitch.
Rodon retired the next three batters, Michael Stefanik, Chad Wallach and Zack Necto, in order, this time on pitches in the zone.
Trailing 4-0 in the third, back-to-back walks to Otani and Ward gave way to a single to Moniak and an infield single to Escobar. Rengifo then walked to put runners on first and second, but Stefanik induced a grounder to second to prevent further damage.
Rodon temporarily settled down in the fourth inning, trailing 0-6. Neto singled up the middle to put runners on first and second, then struck out Ohtani on a wild pitch and got Ward to fly out to centre field.
Still trailing 0-6 in the top of the fifth, Rodon retired Moniak on a fly ball to left field before being replaced by Ian Hamilton to end the game prematurely. He threw 87 pitches. His ERA skyrocketed to 7.36 from 5.23.
After going 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 games for the San Francisco Giants last year, Rodon signed a massive six-year, $162 million contract with the Yankees after the season. However, he bounced around the disabled list with elbow and back injuries and made a late debut against the Chicago White Sox on 8 July.
Rodon’s record with the Yankees was 3-3 with a 7.36 ERA in three games. He suffered the loss after allowing two runs in 5⅓ innings against the White Sox on the 8th, but then gave up four runs in five innings against the Colorado Rockies on the 15th and six runs in 4⅓ innings against the Angels on the same day. In all three games, he gave up a home run and walked nine batters. His quality starts are also zero.
The Yankees went 3-7 on the day, including a sweep of the shocking Angels, to remain in last place in the American League East (50-47).
Rodon’s “controversy” has a lot to do with the franchise’s fall to the bottom of the standings.