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.