The New York Yankees can now add “without a homer” as a form of victory to their resume for the season. In their 64th game the Yankees finally notched a win in a game they did not hit a home run, as they outlasted the Washington Nationals in 14 innings, 5-3.
The Yankees snapped a 0-for-12 streak in such games which has been a constant reminder of late as the ‘cousin’ of the RISP issues, which unfortunately seem to still be around (2-for-18 yesterday). Now that the Yankees have solved one ‘problem’ the RISP problems should change soon, we hope.
The Yankees received another stellar performance from Andy Pettitte. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball allowing five hits, three walks and striking out six. He received a no-decision as the Nationals tied the score on a two-out solo home run by Ian Desmond off Cory Wade in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Wade was in a spot where we’ve come accustomed to seeing David Robertson. Robertson just returned from the disabled list on Friday and manager Joe Girardi apparently didn’t want him working on back-to-back days. Wade has been excellent this season and Girardi obviously felt he could hold the Yankees lead, but he couldn’t.
The Yankees played from behind in this one as Pettitte was touched for his two runs in the second inning when Nationals catcher Jesus Flores cracked a two-out two-run double. Pettitte was stingy the rest of the way allowing only five more base runners.
The Yankees offense was held in check by Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann. The 26-year-old scattered five hits and three walks while striking out six in six innings. He allowed three runs (two earned), but he foiled plenty of Yankees chances.
In the sixth the Yankees took the lead in an inning that could have put the game away. Robinson Cano led off the frame with a single. Swisher singled and Raul Ibanez grounded into a force out allowing Cano to score and tie the game. Russell Martin stepped to the plate and grounded back to Zimmermann who fired home to nab Swisher who was running on contact. Swisher was out and then was removed from the game with a bruised quad muscle after showing obvious pain from the slide into Flores. Chavez cranked a double off the scoreboard in right field to bring home the lead run. That was the last hit the Yankees would have until the 14th inning.
The bullpens on both sides were excellent with the Nationals almost pitching the equivalent of a no-hitter, going seven innings without allowing a Yankees’ hit. There were still opportunities, as they issued five walks a group, but the Yanks couldn’t come up with the big hit.
The Yankees’ pen received some of the usual good work from Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley, but Freddy Garcia was fabulous in two innings (12th and 13th). Garcia had not pitched since June 5th and didn’t look too rusty. He earned his first victory of the season while not allowing a base-runner.
In the top half of the 14th inning, the Yankees finally broke through. Once again it was Brad Lidge on the mound when the tide turned. Lidge allowed three runs in Friday’s game allowing the Yankees to surge ahead for the victory in the series opener.
Jayson Nix singled to open the inning. He stole second base during Derek Jeter’s nine-pitch at-bat which finally resulted in a single for the captain who entered the inning with a 0-for-6 hanging over his head. After Curtis Granderson struck out swinging, Mark Teixeira came up with a huge base clearing double as Jeter was running on the play. Lidge walked Cano intentionally and struck out Garcia. Michael Gonzalez came on to get Dewayne Wise for the final out of the inning.
The Yankees were finally able to get Rafael Soriano into the game. He’d been up and down in the bullpen multiple times as the Yankees threatened in several innings but had failed to score until the 14th. Soriano allowed two hits after getting the first out in the inning. He settled down and struck out Bryce Harper for the final out of the game and earned his 12th save in 13 chances. Harper finished the game 0-for-7 with 5 strikeouts.
The Yankees (39-25) have now won eight straight and 18 out of 22. They maintained their 1.5 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. The Nationals by virtue of Baltimore’s win over the Atlanta Braves are still up by four games in the NL East.
Ivan Nova (8-2, 4.64 ERA) toes the rubber in the series finale for the Yankees. Nova is looking for an American League leading ninth win of the season and his fifth straight. The Nationals are hoping that Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.02 ERA) can snap the Yankees’ winning streak and start a new one for the Nats.
Swisher out for Sunday?
Swisher has been diagnosed with a bone bruise of his left quad and is unlikely to play today. The Yankees hope this is not a serious injury as they are already playing short-handed in the outfield.
Yankees announce signing of second-round pick Aune
The Yankees announced they were able to come to terms with Austin Aune, the team’s second round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft on a $1 million deal which is almost double the recommended slot of $548.4K.
Jimmy Kraft begins a two-part series which investigates the outfield scenarios the Yankees are going to deal with during the offseason.