Anthony Rizzo hits walk-off homer, Clarke Schmidt solid in emergency start as Yankees run Stadium streak to 14

Anthony Rizzo ended it, but the way it started was probably the most impressive thing about the Yankees’ 2-1 win over the Rays Thursday night. Rizzo hit a walk-off solo home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to complete the three-game sweep of their division rival at the Stadium.

But it was the excellent emergency spot start from Clarke Schmidt and the bulk innings from Ryan Weber, who was called up late Wednesday night, which was most impressive within the clubhouse walls.

“I just think it says a lot about what our clubhouse is about,” Rizzo said. “Guys come in and [feel] right away that they’re part of this. I mean, there’s a lot of big names in this clubhouse and you would never know inside. It’s just everyone is treated very equally on the same level here whether you have a couple days in the big leagues or 12, 13, 15 years.

“We just keep it loose. And our coaching staff does a really good job at keeping us prepared and keeping us ready.”

Rizzo’s single in the bottom of the sixth tied the game and his 16th homer of the season allowed the Yankees to win their seventh straight game and 14 straight at the Stadium. It was the Bombers’ eighth walk-off win of the season. They take a 12-game lead over the Rays in the American League East now and 10 over the Blue Jays, who they will play this weekend.

But the Yankees only got there because of Schmidt and Weber stepping up.

Schmidt, who had been giving the Yankees length out of the bullpen, looked ready for his start, even though he didn’t find out until about five hours before first pitch that Luis Severino was scratched with an illness — which turned out not to be COVID.

Schmidt pitched three scoreless innings, Weber allowed just a solo homer in 3.2 innings followed by Ron Marinaccio throwing a perfect 1.1 innings and Michael King closing it by striking out two in a scoreless ninth.

Schmidt gave up one hit, walked one and struck out five over three innings of work. He walked Ji-Man Choi and then gave up a single to Yandy Diaz in the first inning. He retired the last six batters he faced.

Not bad for a few hours’ notice, which is all Schmidt got.

“We kind of knew Sevy was under the weather, but I just decided to treat it like a call out of the bullpen,” Schmidt said. “I think that was the best mentality to have.”

He had made one start last season, allowing five runs, two earned, on four hits over 4.1 innings pitched in a September loss to the Mets. The 26-year-old right-hander had made 11 appearances out of the bullpen this season, pitching to a 3.26 ERA. He’d struck out 15 and walked 10 in 19.1 innings pitched prior to Thursday night.

But none of his appearances this season had been this big.

Schmidt handed it over to Weber, who was told Wednesday night to travel …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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