Clarke Schmidt tipping pitches was least of Yankees' problems vs. Mariners

And he attacked it with the right attitude.
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Coming off a run of dominant starts culminating in his first eight-inning outing in Minnesota last week, Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt was tested by a battling Mariners club on Tuesday. The M's offense, supposedly one of the game's weakest, didn't exactly tee off on Schmidt, but tipped, flicked, and laid off enough pitches to chase him from the game after just five solid innings.

He tossed 100 pitches (!) in those five frames, and was victimized once by Dylan Moore, who hammered a two-run shot on a full count in the third, immediately following a Josh Rojas double. While that was the sum total of the damage against Schmidt, he still regretted his stumble in the postgame, believing that he'd been tipping his pitches and giving the base runner at second a free view.

All very much in bounds, and Schmidt was understandably bummed out with himself rather than feeling vengeful. Hopefully, though, he didn't take the indignity too much to heart, considering there were a million other tiny blunders and reasons the Yankees fell on Tuesday aside from his brief dalliance with giving away the answers to the test.

Yankees' starter Clarke Schmidt has perfect attitude about tipping pitches

That's the correct take on the situation, of course, but to absolve Schmidt (who made mid-game adjustments) even further, there was nothing he could've done short of covering seven innings unscathed to obscure Bryan Woo's utter dominance of the Yankees' lineup.

Once Woo was forced from the game (prematurely, it seemed, coming off an injury that lingered through April), the Yankees had a golden opportunity to bury every narrative from the first two-thirds of the game ... until they deployed Dennis Santana, whose subpar relief put the contest out of reach.

Or appeared to, at least, before Gleyber Torres clawed back with a shocking two-out, three-run home run ... which represented progress that was immediately undone by Aaron Boone's choice to deploy rookie Clayton Andrews, his apparent choice for a blowout, in a one-run game. Andrews allowed an insurance homer on the very first pitch he threw. Boone "liked the lane"; no one else did.

Credit to Schmidt for owning up to what he believes to be his own human error, but the Yankees were two outs away from a statement series-opening victory before Clay Holmes absorbed a year's worth of bad luck in a 10-minute span. Needing an impressive response in Game 2 to restore order, the Yankees instead banged pots and pans around for six innings offensively before Boone, with a worn-down bullpen, received poor performance after poor performance from his mid-tier options (and one frightened rookie).

For the first time in a month, these Yankees have been punched in the mouth, and are having trouble recovering. That is far more of an issue -- even for one of baseball's best teams -- than a correctable Schmidt flaw, which the righty has already owned up to.