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Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt implodes inning after escaping jam

HOUSTON — Clarke Schmidt seemed on his way to redemption when he induced a double play with the bases loaded to end the fifth, but he then gave up a pair of solo homers in the sixth to help send the Yankees to a 4-2 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS on Wednesday.

“He just made some two-strike mistakes with the bottom of the order there in that [sixth] inning that kind of cost him,’’ Aaron Boone said of the homers by Yuli Gurriel and Chas McCormick.

Schmidt has had a rough postseason, giving up a run on three hits in a Game 3 loss to the Guardians in the ALDS and then taking the loss again on Wednesday as Boone tried to piece together the bullpen after the Yankees used most of their regular relievers to close out the ALDS.

That strategy included using Frankie Montas in the seventh, when Jeremy Pena opened with a homer.

It was the first batter Montas faced this postseason, with the right-hander having missed the last month with a shoulder injury. He hadn’t pitched since Sept. 16.

Clarke Schmidt
Clarke Schmidt
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

“I was really excited just to be on the roster, and didn’t [make] a first good impression when I got here to the Yankees,” Montas said before the game.

But after pitching to a 6.35 ERA in 39 ²/₃ innings after arriving in July in a trade from the A’s, the right-hander continued his dismal stint as a Yankee.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa went from being benched in the ALDS for his defensive miscues to starting at shortstop in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Kiner-Falefa was replaced at short in the final two games of the Yankees’ ALDS win over Cleveland by Oswaldo Cabrera.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa lashes a single during the second inning of the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa lashes a single during the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the ALCS.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Before Wednesday’s game, Boone said his starting shortstop would be “an everyday decision” in the series.

Boone has a new option in rookie Oswald Peraza, who was added to the ALCS roster and could be used for his strong defense at the position. He was used as a pinch-runner Wednesday.

“It will be just kind of matchup and game to game,” Boone said. “But I feel like [Kiner-Falefa] is going to play a big role for us.”

Boone wanted the right-handed hitting Kiner-Falefa in the lineup Wednesday over the switch-hitting Cabrera because Justin Verlander is especially tough on lefties.

Kiner-Falefa had one of the three hits off Verlander and didn’t have any issues at short.

As for Peraza, Boone said he could envision the 22-year-old being an option as a pinch-runner, pinch-hitter or even getting a start at some point in the series.

Ron Marinaccio initially appeared likely to return to the bullpen for the ALCS, but instead he remained off the roster with the shin stress reaction that also cost him the ALDS.

“I feel like he’s not 100 percent,’’ Boone said.

Boone said he could see Marinaccio rejoining the roster for the World Series if the Yankees advance, or even if they have to replace an injured reliever in the ALCS.

Greg Weissert was also added to their ALCS roster for bullpen reinforcements and left-hander Lucas Luetge was dropped. The rookie Weissert can be tough on both righties and lefties.

DJ LeMahieu (right toe) and Andrew Benintendi (broken hook of the hamate) were also left off the ALCS roster while veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez joined them on the sidelines after being on the ALDS roster.

Boone said LeMahieu could also be a consideration to be added to the roster if the Yankees were dealt an injury elsewhere.

“He’s not gonna move great, he can’t really fire, but if we ran him out there he’d represent himself well,” Boone said.

Luis Severino has felt his fair share of anger toward the Astros, but he does not believe that revisiting those emotions will do him any good when he takes the mound on Thursday for Game 2.

The Yankees right-hander will be making his fourth playoff start against the Astros, the first two of which came in the 2017 ALCS that was later tainted by revelations of Houston’s illegal sign-stealing scheme.

“When I think about all that, of course I was mad at the beginning, but we can’t do [anything] about it,” Severino said before Game 1. “I mean, what are we going to do? If I’m still angry, is that going to change something?”

Severino said this series — the third time in the past six years that the Yankees and Astros have met in the ALCS — is not about revenge but simply winning.

“MLB did what they needed to do to fix whatever they were doing,” he said. “I always think that this team, they don’t need to cheat because they’re really good.”

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