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Pitching But The No Hitting Yankees

Yankees LHP Carlos Rodón, recipient of the 2021 American League LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award, recorded seven scoreless innings with four strikeouts in Monday's loss to the Athletics - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Good pitching usually dominates the hitters in April. It always has and will continue even with new rules of a pitch clock. The Yankees, though with Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres and the rest of their lineup are making pitchers look dominant.

Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Carlos Rodón had his best outing on the mound for the Yankees. Rodón, in his second season of a six-year contract dominated the young Oakland Athletics allowing one hit over seven scoreless innings.

Carlos Rodón, 31-year-old Cuban-American, signed a six-year deal with the Yankees in the 2022-2023 offseason – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

And Monday afternoon, it was Rodón not getting the run support. In fact, those Yankees potent bats have not been much help for their other starters in the rotation. This homestand Nestor Cortes and Marcus Stroman pitching scoreless baseball, though the Yankees lineup not providing support (three-runs, 34 innings) that continued with the A’s shutting out the Yankees 2-0.

Yes, good pitching in April will always calm down an offense. But the Yankees say it’s a long season and their potent lineup will revive. However, former Yankees pitcher JP Sears matched Rodón, six shutout innings, three hits, seven strikeouts and a walk. The A’s snapped an eight-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium but are vastly improved after losing 112 games last year.

Regardless, the Yankees are not hitting on all cylinders. Is this a concern in April because good pitching will stop good hitting? Juan Soto went hitless in four-at bats, Judge went hitless four times and is 3-for 28, no extra base hits and 16 strikeouts, a span of seven games.

“It’s just part of the game,” said Soto. “We’ve got to keep grinding, keep coming, every day. We’re going to have ups and downs throughout the whole year. We just had a tough game. Forget about it and come back tomorrow.”

Juan Soto, recipient of 2021 National League LatinoMVP award, entered Monday’s game hitting .337 for the 2024 season – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

And coming back the next three nights against the A’s is a start, not to diminish the resilience of this young team. They are not intimidated on the field and looking at 30,000 or more fans in the Bronx. Quite a comparison to the slim crowds of 4,000 that still support them in their last season as the A’s from Oakland.

The Yankees know there will be better at bats, more base runners, runs, and of course a lineup that can hit home runs in bunches. To them it is a matter of time no matter if it’s the month of April.

“We’ve got to mount more than that and that’s taking nothing away from Sears,” said manager Aaron Boone. “He looked really good against us, and then their back end is real. Winning the games they’ve won, they’ve been able to close out some games because they’ve got a pretty dynamic back end there,”

He was referencing two marvelous innings from Lucas Erceg (1-1) who got the win and 25-year old right-hander Mason Miller who recorded his fifth save. Miller struck out Anthony Volpe, Soto, and Judge with a 102 mile-per-hour four-seamer. Miller has become an elite closer indicated with that final inning that included eight fastballs and six sliders.

Again, good pitching will stop the hitting in April, but Miller was not intimidated with Yankee Stadium and has learned to increase the velocity as there is an increasing concern of starters on the injured list. On Monday, the list included Diamondbacks’ RHP Merrill Kelly with a major strain of the right shoulder.

“I have learned to increase the velocity in time,” said Miller. “Yeah there is always a concern about throwing hard and getting adjusted when I have to. Walking around before the game, it’s got a different air about it,” he said about Yankee Stadium.

And the Yankees are expected to get their bats going. Their lineup is expected to heat up just like the weather and they say soon. Soto said the Miller fastball is pretty good, then again the Yankees the past few days have made all pitchers in April look impressive.

Aaron Judge, 2022 American League MVP, has had a slow start to the 2024 MLB season – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Judge is also better than a .174 hitter, Torres was their most consistent hitter last year. Yankees starters, though with a 2.84 ERA in 23 starts and have not allowed more than four earned runs.

As Boone said, “We’ve got to find a way to do a little bit more offensively.”

It’s April and good pitching will stop good hitting.

Rich Mancuso is a contributor for LatinoSports.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio

    April 23, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Welcome back Rich. We missed your excellent articles giving details beyond the score for anyone who was not present to watch. Congrats also to Bill Menzel, for some great pictures and Robert Rizzo our editor for including a video to really bring it all home. That is an All Star team at work.

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