Game 60: Yanks Lose 5-0, But Clinch 5-Seed

The Yankees will be the five seed in the American League playoffs. That means they will play Cleveland on Tuesday. That, plus the news that the team survived the final day of the regular season in good health, is the big news of the day. Everything else about the Yankees day was pretty awful, as they lost 5-0 to Miami and closed out the regular season with a whimper. Their final record is 33-27 on the season.

Let’s get right to the takeaways.

1. Clarke Schmidt Does Okay: All things considered, that could have been a lot worse of a debut. It also could have a lot better. But that’s okay! We often forget this, but Clarke Schmidt doesn’t have a lot of professional experience – barely over 100 innings pitched, in fact. It’s not a lot. He’s never even pitched in Triple-A! He’s really forced his way onto the scene and he deserves credit for that.

Anyway, he made his first MLB start today, and aside from the second inning, it was pretty good. He flashed a good curveball and showed why he impressed so much in Spring Training. Here is his overall pitch plot:

Unfortunately, though, the second inning did happen. It started out with a strikeout, but spiraled out of control after a walk and a single, which was immediately followed by this:

That made it 2-0 Marlins (I thought it was gone off the bat). A single and a strikeout later preceded this:

This made it 3-0 Marlins. After this, Schmidt threw one up and in on Starling Marte…hitting the rim of his helmet, knocking him to his feet, and removing him from the game. It was a scary moment and I really hope Marte is okay. Schmidt got out of the jam but needed 33 pitches in the inning.

All told, it was a fine performance from Schmidt, though I don’t know if he’s going to make the playoff roster. He lasted 4 innings, gave up 4 hits and 3 runs, walked 2 and struck out 4. It wasn’t great, but that’s okay. I hope we see a lot more of him next season.

2. The Missing Offense: There is no middle ground with the 2020 Yankees. They either score a ton of runs in a hurry or they look absolutely lost. Yesterday was the former. Today was the latter. It was honestly pretty ugly. They hit into more double plays, as they have been wont to do of late:

And the Marlins took away a bunch of hard-hit balls that looked destined to be hits with some good defense. It was just one of those days. The Yanks mustered just 6 hits – DJ Lemahieu had 2, Brett Gardner had 3, and Gleyber Torres had the other. They did add 4 walks, which was kind of cool I guess, and Aaron Judge hit a ball hard once. Still, overall, it was a pretty bleak final performance of the regular season.

3. B-List Bullpen…also Okay: That was not the Yankees A-team bullpen right there, as we all would have guessed coming into today. (We care about where the Yankees land in terms of seeding, but I doubt the Yankees themselves actually do.) So the Yankees used both Jonathan Holder and Nick Nelson. Here are their respective lines:

  • Jonathan Holder: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER
  • Nick Nelson: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Each pitcher surrendered a solo HR to Miami that extended the lead from 3 to 4 to 5, respectively. It probably would have been better if they didn’t give those up but the Yankee offense was non-existent all day. It didn’t matter at all. Whatever.

4. Brett Gardner’s Swan Song: Was this the last home game for Brett Gardner in Yankee Stadium? I’m not too sure – I think the Yankees might, and maybe even should, bring him back for 2021 – but all I do know is that I’ll be really bummed out if it was. Brett has been a quintessential Yankee, here through thick and thin, and a mainstay in the lineup since 2009. I am a huge fan of his and you should be too. It was great to see him get three hits today.

If nothing else, Brett really deserved to get a proper send-off from the Bronx faithful. Alas, this is 2020, so that was not meant to be. Now the Yankees just have to go ahead and win the World Series so he can be sent off in style, if that is what will happen.


  • DJ LeMahieu, Incredible Again: DJ essentially clinched the batting crown today, which is pretty damn great. Have Yankee fans ever been so wrong about a player?
  • Thanks for Reading: I don’t have much more to say about this horrible game, but I will say thank you to all of you for reading our site during this insane 2020. We have a lot more to come next month, obviously, and we hope the Yanks have a lot more to come, too. But we do appreciate you reading.

A day off before the playoffs begin. We’ll spend the next two days covering everything Cleveland and the postseason, of course. Enjoy the end of your weekend, and we’ll see you tomorrow.


Game 59: Deivi and the offense bounce back


Aaron Boone Evaluation Survey: September 28th, 2020


  1. Wire Fan

    Might have been better with TB in the first round. Bieber has been ridiculous.

    Cole is going to have to shove in game 1.

    • MikeD

      If they’re going all the way, they’ll need to beat the good teams and good pitchers at some point. I’d rather they face the Rays not in Tampa, at the neutral site.

      No off days will reward teams with a deep starting staff.. They’d have been in great position if Severino and Paxton could have joined Cole and Tanaka. Hoping Happ and Garcia can fill the void!

  2. Mungo

    I suspect Gardner will be starting Tuesday, not Frazier, and I don’t really have an issue with it. I mean, I won’t have an issue with whomever starts, but I think Gardner might be the better choice for game one. Bieber’s stuff is nasty. Frazier has been K’ing and missing a lot of pitches lately, so I can see Gardner putting up more competitive ABs based on how they two of been playing the last couple of weeks, and even with Frazier’s improved defense, Gardy offers the better chance to keep the game close with his glove. Start Gardner in game one, deal with who starts in LF in game 2 when that game comes around.

  3. Gerreddardit Cole

    I thought it was the worst loss of the season, Bobby. We’re cooked and I think everybody knows it and it just going through the motions. Whether it’s two games or three that we lose in we will lose to the Indians. Any advantage we have with Cole is negated by Beiber. And then they throw out a Carrasco and Plesac, which easily trumps Tanaka and Deivi.

    This lineup can’t even hit Buffalo Jays and Miami Marlins pitching, they ain’t hitting Cleveland. DP after strike out after DP. That’s all they do. And this happens every year where the home runs dry up in the cool weather and better opposing pitching and they don’t score. This has been going on for years and they never change the strategy. Sit back and wait for the 3 run home run that will never come. No sense of urgency at all from Boone to get home field.

    I just hope it’s a quick and painless 2 game sweep and we can move on with our miserable lives. DJ and Gardy are the only ones hitting. You can’t sit Gardy now that he’s hot and Clint is cold. Wade has hit more dingers than anyone the past week. Weren’t Judge and Stanton supposed to energize the lineup?

  4. Doug H

    Tyler Wade hit more HRs this past week than Judge, Stanton, Sanchez and Torres combined.

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