(Curtis doesn't get to do this a lot because he's not a home run hitter, you see. Courtesy of The AP)
Yankees and Nationals, 2 first-place teams going at it. I don't think the Yankees have ever played the Nationals, and no, I'm not basing that on anything and I'm too lazy to look it up, but it was definitely not a clown series, bro. The resurgent Phil Hughes
was on the mound for the Bombers, facing off against the AL-to-NL transplanted and probable All Star Gio Gonzalez
, so a pitcher's duel was in the cards.
- Gonzalez started off hot, striking out 5 of the first 6 batters to make an out in the game. Hughes got 3 Ks in the first 2 innings, but also allowed 3 baserunners.
- The Yankees were the first to put a crooked number on the scoreboard, and they did it all with 2 outs in the top of the 3rd. With Derek Jeter
on second after a 1-out double, Teix walked and A-Rod and Swish hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 2-0. A-Rod stifled the rally a bit by getting thrown out trying to go first to third, but it was still a lead.
- Hughes almost gave it all back in the next inning, loading the bases with only 1 out and giving up an RBI base hit to Michael Morse
, but got Ian Desmond
to ground into an inning-ending double play on a first-pitch curveball. Hughes getting groundball outs is always a nice bonus and there were none bigger last night than those 2.
- Both pitchers settled in after the 3rd, with Gonzalez working the next 3 innings in order and Hughes retiring the next 8 he faced after the DP in order. Gio struck out 8 and Phil struck out 9, but Gonzalez was left in to face a batter to lead off the 7th and that was the difference in their final lines.
- Andruw Jones
walked to start the inning, pinch runner Dewayne Wise
stole second, was sacrificed to third, and scored on an infield single by Jeter. Russell Martin
also scored on a throwing error on the play, but the bigger blow came in the next at-bat, when Curtis Granderson
lined a double to the opposite field that scored Robinson Cano
and Jeter and made it 6-1 Yankees.
- Cody Eppley
got 3 outs in the 7th, Clay Rapada
worked a clean 8th (including Ks of Bryce Harper
and Adam LaRoche
), and Curtis Granderson: Non-HR Hitter hit a solo shot in the top of the 9th to put the game away.
- It was good to see D-Rob back out on the mound, even if he did give up a cheap run. He got 2 groundball outs and finished with a K, though, and had his fastball sitting in its usual 92-93 range, so I would call it a good first appearance back.
- It's worth mentioning that last night was Joe's 500th career managerial win. Congrats to him for that.