ATLANTA — Clarke Schmidt has faced the powerhouse Rangers lineups twice.
He’s seen the potent Orioles four times.
Neither compares to the gauntlet he saw Monday night that is the Braves.
“They were far and above beyond those teams I think,” the Yankees’ right-hander from Acworth, Ga. said after his unhappy homecoming. “I don’t know if it’s them being hot right now or just a combination of it all, but they have really good approaches and really good bat-to-ball skills.
“They don’t give in and they kind of feed off each other, too. Once the bottom of the order gets going, the top of it feeds off of it as well.”
He had the outing to prove it.
Schmidt, one of the Yankees’ top starters the last three months, failed to get out of the third inning Monday.
The Braves pounded him early and often in their latest thumping of a New York team, this one an 11-3 trouncing of the Yankees after they piled up 40 runs on the Mets over the weekend in Queens.
Schmidt allowed a career-high eight earned runs on nine hits over 2 ¹/₃ innings, digging the Yankees a huge early hole they couldn’t come close to digging out of.
He gave up a solo homer to Austin Riley in the first, and three more runs in the second with two outs.
It all came apart in the third, as his streak of holding the opposition to three earned runs or fewer ended at 14 consecutive starts.
After Eddie Rosario, Orlando Arcia and Nicky Lopez drove in runs with consecutive run-scoring hits in the third, his night was done at 68 pitches.
“He had some count leverage and just couldn’t put them away,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s probably a pitch away from getting out of [the second] inning unscathed, and they just put together some good at-bats against him. And then I think he really started to tire there in the third.”
Of the nine Braves’ hits, six came with Schmidt ahead in the count.
That advantage did him no good against the sport’s leader in runs scored.
If anything, his success early in the count gave him a false sense of confidence.
The Braves only got tougher the deeper the count went.
“Stuff felt great, execution felt good for the most part. I think there were just a handful of two-strike pitches that I wish I had back,” Schmidt said. “Sometimes you get your ass beat a little bit out there. For lack of a better term, that’s what happened tonight. You got to tip your cap sometimes in baseball.”