The New York Yankees needed Prime Carlos Rodón in August and September if they were going to make a miraculous playoff run.
Unfortunately, they've received a player who looks compromised by the back issues that dogged him in April, May and June. Rodón's stuff has looked relatively potent; he's hit 96-97 with his heater and spun an occasional excellent slider. His location, on the other hand, has remained iffy.
This particular opportunity for a "statement start" was undone not once, but twice -- by the umpiring crew, then by Rodón's body, par for the course for the 2023 (and 2022, and 2021...) Yankees.
With Angel Hernández behind the plate, Rodón had to start this game perfectly ... and even that wasn't enough. Ashley Rodón, watching this all unfold from off the field, decided to drop a few "Angel" emojis whenever the home plate ump tried to pull a fast one. Through two innings, she gave us two mini trolls.
Carlos Rodón leaves Yankees game vs Astros with lower body injury
And, yes, Mrs. Rodón wisely retweeted a comment from another user about Jeremy Peña's obvious uncalled check swing strike, which led (indirectly) to a three-run homer in the second inning. Judge for yourself: Was the umpiring crew watching the game?
Look, even the Astros beat writers are saying it!
Frustratingly, Rodón's opportunity to right the ship was cut short. Following a Jose Altuve bunt single, Gleyber Torres being unable to apply a tag, and Kyle Higashioka throwing a baseball into left field, Yordan Álvarez went yard (one pitch after Higgy had dropped a tipped third strike).
If the wheels weren't already off, they officially came off a few batters later, when Rodón shanked two straight pitches and left the game without his legs under him. While we're still awaiting an official diagnosis, it's clear the lefty's lower half wasn't right [UPDATE: hamstring issue, MRI to follow, the lefty believes this was all precautionary].
The Yankees' hopes on Sunday rested on Rodón getting right, which most certainly did not happen. Hernández began the disaster, but the lefty himself certainly ended it. More on his injury certainly coming soon.