Yankees Split 2-game set with Nats (Recaps)

Riding a six game winning streak and coming into a two game set with the Nationals, the Yankees were on of the hottest teams in baseball. Looking for a third straight sweep, the Yankees came away with a split in relatively disappointing fashion.

GAME ONE (6/9)
NYY 6 VS. WSH 1
In a good-ole “Ace-Off,” Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was squaring off against Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Both pitchers were dominant through 6 innings with Tanaka’s only blemish being a solo shot given up to Bryce Harper while Scherzer’s only run allowed came on Stephen Drew’s 8th homer of the season. Scherzer ran into trouble in the 7th inning after giving up a single to Ramon Flores, his second hit off Scherzer on the night. Brett Gardner followed suit with a single of his own. With runners on first and second, Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. Rodriguez struck a pitch on the nose which was knocked down by Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond who made a diving play before firing to third. On the throw, the ball hit Flores the kicked away which allowed the Yankees to take the lead.

A 2-run single from Brian McCann would push two more runs across before an RBI single from Carlos Beltran making it a 5-1 game. In the bottom of the 8th, Drew launched his second home run of the game – a solo shot – for his 9th of the season and his second two home run game of the season. The final score would hold at 6-1 thanks to good performances from Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve and Andrew Miller out of the bullpen.

 GAME TWO (6/10)
NYY 4 VS. WSH 5
Game two of the series was a matchup between Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals and Nathan Eovaldi for the Yankees. Eovaldi came into this game having struggled during his career against the Nationals but he pitched arguably his best game of the season this afternoon. Brendan Ryan rejoined the Yankees and hit ninth with Ramon Flores being optioned to triple-A. Ryan enjoyed a successful game at the plate going 2-3 with HBP and a triple (more on that below).
The Yankees trailed 2-0 going into the seventh inning with Chris Young leading off against a cruising Gio Gonzalez. Young led off the inning with a single into left before a hard line out by Jose Pirela with Harper making a sliding catch. Brendan Ryan then came to the plate and with the outfield playing relatively shallow, Ryan crushed one over the head of Denard Span for an RBI triple to put the Yankees on the board. Brett Gardner batted next and hit a double down the line that hopped over first base to tie the game up.

Alex Rodriguez was the next Yankee batter to burn Span in center field as he hit an RBI double to deep center to push the Yankees out in front 3-2. Brian McCann collected an RBI single that bounced off the second base bag (luckily) to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead at the end of 7 innings.

In a questionable move, Girardi let Eovaldi face one batter in the 8th inning before handing the ball off the Jacob Lindgren out of the pen. In Lindgren’s most pressure-filled spot he’s faced all season, he gave up a 2-run home run to Michael Taylor of the Nationals to tie the game up at 4-4 after eight innings. The Yankees would not score again as Chris Capuano gave up the go-ahead run on an infield single by Denard Span.

MY TAKES
Stephen Drew’s power surge continued with two big home runs in the first game of the series. The Yankee bats were alive in games one and two with big seventh innings in both games (4 runs in the 7th inning of each game). The Yankees had a little luck and incredibly timely hitting in game one to get a sizeable lead that they didn’t let go. In game two, Girardi not using Betances in the 8th was justified as Miller was out with an injury (although we didn’t know this at the time). It was likely that Betances was going to come in for the 9th inning had the Yankees had the lead.

With Andrew Miller headed to the 15-day disabled list, Chris Martin is expected to rejoin the bullpen on Friday which will provide much need right-hand help out of the bullpen. Jose Pirela was sent down as well as Ramon Flores in moves I don’t agree with, but I can only assume that it means that Slade Heathcott or Jacoby Ellsbury is returning soon. The Yankees have one more spot open on the 25-man roster (assuming Martin rejoins it Friday) so we could potentially see Mason Williams or another Scranton/Wilkes-Barre player dawning pinstripes this weekend. We’ll keep you updated on our twitter @BronxBomberBlog as soon as we know who is coming up to New York! Additionally, Ivan Nova may be a little as a week away from returning to Pinstripes

LOOKING AHEAD
The Yankees will have an off day on Thursday, June 11 before beginning a 3-game weekend series against division rival, the Baltimore Orioles. Michael Pineda will likely take the hill in game one (7-2 3.33 ERA) with CC Sabathia (3-7 5.25 ERA) going Saturday and Adam Warren (4-4 3.64 ERA) getting the start on Sunday. Upon writing this (6:45PM 6/10) the Yankees hold a 2 game lead over the Rays in the AL East and will look to expand on that this weekend.

Article by: Chad Raines
Follow me on twitter @Chad_Rain
Follow the @BronxBomberBlog on twitter for more Yankees news, updates, analysis, opinions, live game tweets, satire, MiLB updates and all things Yankees

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