The most frustrating thing about the Yankees’ struggles this season is that they rarely seem to have an answer after being punched in the mouth. At least in this game, they had a bit of an answer, even if they failed in the end.
After leading most of the game, the Yankees fell behind after blowing out mostly by Tommy Canley and Clay Holmes. While the Yankees offense showed some fighting in their comeback attempt, they fell short agonizingly, as the Nationals won the game and the series with a 6-5 victory.
After setting up a three-way home game on Wednesday night, Aaron Judge started the game in the same vein. On the first pitch that saw him on his first batter of the day, he smashed a 421-foot home run off Patrick Corbin, giving the Yankees an early lead.
To start an extended opening inning, Michael King pitched the first two scoreless innings. Washington eventually got to him and ended his day on the third day. While he had two outs in the inning, he also issued two walks, bringing Joey Meneses to the plate. King had Meneses put the ball past Anthony Volpi short, but the rookie was unable to serve the ball cleanly, allowing Meneses to reach and run to score. At that point, Aaron Boone went to Kenan Middleton, who entered and ended the inning. For the day, King went 2.2 innings, allowing one unearned run, walking two, and striking out three.
However, it didn’t take long for the Yankees to regain the lead. DJ LeMahieu made a walk before the judge was kept on the field for one run with a foul. Gleiber Torres made up for it, though, hitting a homer that just cleared the top of the wall in left field.
While the Yankees offense was cooled after that, their pitching also kept Washington in check for a while. Johnny Brito followed Middleton with 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits. One of them came in the seventh inning, and shortly thereafter, Boone returned to the field and brought Canley. Things quickly turned around after that.
And after Canley got the second goal of the seventh period, Jake Alo hit a powerful shot in the middle. Volpe got a gauntlet, but was unable to completely encircle it, as it went for a single. Alex Call followed that up with a home run, and somewhat out of nowhere, the Nationals took the lead. CJ Abrams followed that up with a running back, deepening a Yankees fumble.
After an inning, the Yankees got one of those runs back. Giancarlo Stanton brought the Yankees back in running back when he returned to the bullpen in right center field. A few batters later, Iverson Pereira hit his first major league hit when he hit a double into left field. The Yankees were unable to capitalize on that hit, as it was stranded at second base.
At the top of the ninth round, Holmes gets the first of two wins – though largely thanks to the judge shooting a runner – only for things to go wrong after that. The call then landed on solid ground that Oswald Peraza couldn’t handle, and Abrams added a leadoff leadoff leadoff leadoff leadoff leadoff leadoff. After the bases were loaded with a hit by a pitch, Meneses grounded one towards the mound. Holmes himself couldn’t play clean, giving the Nationals an insurance shot to reach the bottom of the ninth.
Needing to rally, the Yankees got off to a good start when Peraza led with a single. After the retirement of DJ LeMahieu and Judge, Gleyber Torres kept the game alive with his own hit single. Stanton followed that up with his fourth hit of the day – a single that scored a run and put up the tying run in scoring position. Then Harrison Bader made good connections on the pitch that looked like they might at least lead to a tie. However, Call managed to track him down and barely cornered the ball to end the game.
With that, the Yankees are still looking for their first series win since July. They’ll try again tomorrow when they head to Tampa Bay to play the Rays.