There was a palpable buzz from the crowd on Friday at Yankee Stadium before a single pitch was thrown, thanks to the anticipation surrounding Carlos Rodon’s Yankees debut.
By the end of the night, the buzz had turned to boos.
Rodon was worth the wait, but the Yankees spoiled his solid start with another anemic offensive performance against former teammate Jameson Taillon in a 3-0 loss to the Cubs.
The Yankees (48-41) mustered just one hit and two walks in eight innings against Taillon, who looked untouchable despite entering the night with a 6.93 ERA in his first 14 starts with the Cubs (41-46).
Franchy Cordero, freshly called up Friday when Jake Bauers was put on the injured list, led off the ninth inning with a single against Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay — the Yankees’ first hit since Gleyber Torres’ one-out single in the first inning.
Cordero, however, was quickly erased when Anthony Volpe grounded into a double play, ensuring the Yankees did not get a runner to second base all night.
In the process, the Yankees lost their third straight game — a span in which their lineup has scored just four runs in 27 innings — and fell behind the Blue Jays into fourth place in the AL East for the first time since May 18.
For the second time this week, the Yankees were shut down by one of their former pitchers.
After Jordan Montgomery tossed 6 ²/₃ innings of one-run ball against them on Sunday in St. Louis, Taillon one-upped him by cruising through eight shutout innings.
The right-hander put together his finest outing of the season, throwing a pitch in the seventh inning for the first time since he was a Yankee.
The Yankees’ brutal night at the plate overshadowed and wasted an encouraging debut for Rodon, who missed the first three-plus months of the season with forearm and back injuries.
Nearly seven months after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract, Rodon gave up two runs across 5 ¹/₃ innings on 69 pitches.
He struck out two and walked two on a night when his fastball averaged 95.6 mph — right in line with what it averaged the last two seasons.
The Cubs’ first hit off Rodon came in the third inning, which Cody Bellinger led off with a 410-foot home run to the second deck in right field.
Bellinger, the left-handed slugger on a one-year contract who can play left field, furthered his case to be a trade candidate for the Yankees. He later added a single, stole second base and scored in the seventh inning.
Rodon did not encounter a three-ball count until the fifth inning, when he walked two of the first three batters he faced — including No. 8 hitter Miguel Amaya on four pitches.
That led to the Cubs extending their lead to 2-0 on an RBI single from Nico Hoerner, but Rodon was able to limit the damage.