It's not over yet, but it feels like it. Back to the days when the New York Yankees were losing without a fight almost every night (aka two weeks ago), we guess! But in all seriousness, it only took three and a half innings for all of the good vibes to be sucked out of the team's recent run.
If the Yankees wanted a legitimate shot at making the postseason, they would've needed to sweep the Detroit Tigers. Their lone loss over the last nine games was in extras to the Tigers last week when Gleyber Torres' throwing error doomed them.
But with Carlos Rodón -- who had looked pretty solid over his last three starts -- on the mound Thursday night, most fans weren't even questioning it. With how the Yankees were rolling and the positive energy oozing, this one was a win.
Well, at least it was until Rodón fell apart at the seams right from the jump. He started off the game allowing a double, throwing a wild pitch, and then giving up a two-run homer. And it didn't get any better from there.
When Rodón wasn't allowing runs, he was getting destroyed by hard contact. Jasson Dominguez tracked down a few balls with barely any room left at the wall. Everson Pereira and Aaron Judge fielded a bunch of rockets in the gaps.
Rodón was booed off the mound after Aaron Boone pulled him in the fourth. He finished just 3.2 innings of work and allowed seven earned runs on eight hits.
Carlos Rodón booed, Anthony Rizzo ejected in game that killed Yankees' good vibes
OK ... now it's over. The Tigers are up 8-3 in the fourth. Even the best version of the 2023 Yankees couldn't wipe out that deficit -- they'd only relinquish it themselves.
Sadly for Rodón, his nightmare debut season in the Bronx will not relent. He's been unable to find consistency thanks to a number of injuries that put him off track. Fans were hoping for a September rebound to give him momentum heading into 2024, but getting shelled by the Tigers certainly puts him back deeper into the hole.
The Yankees were on the ropes early, which perhaps caused tensions to rise. When home plate umpire Alan Porter made a terrible strike three call on Dominguez, Anthony Rizzo (!!) let him hear it from the dugout. Rizzo is currently on the IL with concussion-like symptoms and isn't on the active roster, but he was present on Thursday night to take a bullet for his teammates.
Losses are inevitable, but sometimes they shouldn't look this bad when you've won eight of your last nine and have a $162 million pitcher on the mound against one of the league's worst offenses.
Every game counts, and it just would've been nice to wipe the floor clean with a clearly inferior roster when the opportunity was teed up.