Aaron Boone made plenty of noise near home plate Thursday night, but the Yankees’ bats didn’t in a 3-1 loss to the Orioles.
The Yankees manager earned his fourth ejection of the season — and his third in 10 games — in the middle of the third inning after taking issue with home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso’s erratic strike zone. Boone said that his initial comments didn’t warrant the boot despite some “egregious” calls, but he got his money’s worth after getting tossed, as crew chief Chris Guccione had to get in between Moscoso and the fiery skipper when Moscoso turned his back on Boone.
“I should not have been thrown out of that game. I was very calm, didn’t do much at all. And then [Guccione] was holding me back,” Boone said. “So I didn’t need to be restrained. The dismissive attitude and walking away, I took exception to. I really didn’t have to be restrained. I was being restrained. He was keeping in front of me. Nothing bad was gonna happen.”
Boone is hoping that some spit that flew out of his mouth doesn’t earn him a suspension.
He has now been tossed 30 times as a manager. That’s seven more ejections than any other manager since Boone began the job in 2018, per statistician Katie Sharp. Boone also leads his contemporaries in ejections this season.
While Boone has been giving umpires an earful lately, he doesn’t want them replaced with robots, or automated ball-strike systems, which are being used in the minors.
“These guys do, for the most part, a great job and work really hard at it,” Boone said.
While Boone likely uttered a few four-letter words at Moscoso, the Yankees couldn’t drop any bombs of a different variety on Baltimore’s pitchers. Instead, they totaled just two hits off Kyle Gibson, who twirled seven scoreless innings despite walking four batters.
“He did a really good job of just mixing different parts of the zone with multiple pitches,” said Harrison Bader, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. “When a guy is kind of working outside of where you might be looking in a particular at-bat or whatnot, it’s difficult to square up. A lot of balls just off the barrel, kind of lofted up there. Listen, he did a really good job.”
The Yankees scored their lone run in the ninth when Willie Calhoun doubled off breakout reliever Yennier Cano, but the Orioles notched the series-winning victory one batter later.
While it wasn’t enough for a win, Clarke Schmidt’s second start against the O’s went a lot better than his first, even if forces beyond his control required him to throw a few extra pitches.
The righty allowed just one run while walking two and striking out four over five innings and 97 pitches. Moscoso’s zone and a first-inning misplay from Anthony Volpe didn’t help Schmidt’s inefficient pitch count.
“There’s gonna be some missed calls, obviously, throughout the game,” Schmidt said, adding that he thanked Boone for being vocal. “It seemed like there was some crucial ones early on. It kind of ran up the pitch count a little bit early on. But stuff like that’s gonna happen. And obviously, you gotta be able to do a good job of kind of just wiping it and moving on. But yeah, obviously, it’s tough when you have to make extra pitches.”
Baltimore’s lone run against Schmidt came on an Anthony Santander single in the fifth inning.
“He was really good against a tough lineup. Some really tough left-handed hitters in that lineup,” Boone said, highlighting a weakness of Schmidt’s that he overcame Thursday. “He kept us right there, gave us a chance. When it comes down to it, we just weren’t able to mount enough offensively.”
Austin Hays plated two more in the eighth when he doubled off the right field wall against Clay Holmes. Those runs were charged to Wandy Peralta, who entered from the bullpen after fellow relievers Nick Ramirez and Jimmy Cordero dropped balls while covering first base.
With another division series in the books, the Yankees now turn their attention to West Coast teams.
First, the Padres come to town Friday for a three-game weekend set. The Yankees will then spend Memorial Day — an unofficial benchmark during baseball’s long season — in Seattle, where they’ll play three games against the Mariners. After that, the Yankees can enjoy an off day on June 1 before a highly-anticipated three-game showdown against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
As far as pitching plans go, Randy Vasquez will make his major league debut against the Padres on Friday, though it’s unclear if the right-hander will start or follow an opener. Luis Severino will start Saturday, while Gerrit Cole will wrap the series up against San Diego on Sunday.
Joe Musgrove, Michael Wacha and Yu Darvish are expected to start for the Padres, who also employ a few former Yankees, including Matt Carpenter and Rougned Odor.