After losing game one, the New York Yankees had an exciting pitching duel yesterday between starting pitchers combined for five Cy Young awards. In the end, they both pitched too well to be involved in the decision. The Yankees won the rain-delayed game 4-3. The name of the game was pitching, as both teams had trouble scoring runs.
An epic pitching duel
After a nearly two-and-a-half-hour rain delay, 2 times Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took to the mound for the New York Yankees. Previous to being hired by the Yankees, the star pitcher hadn’t pitched for almost two years after being hit by a pitch while with the Cleveland Indians and injuring his shoulder after pitching just one inning for the Texas Rangers. Since his first start with the Yankees, he has been shaking off the rust and getting closer to his winning form. In his last outing against the Detroit Tigers, he went 8 innings allowing no runs and just two hits.
Yesterday, he wasn’t quite that good, pitching 5.2 innings allowing 2 earned runs. For the second game in a row, he threw over 100 pitches, striking out 6 Nationals. He walked 3 batters. He didn’t have his best stuff in a nutshell, and his changeup just wasn’t as sharp. But like any good pitcher, he kept the Yankees in the game.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was truly amazing. The future Hall of Famer pitched into the eighth inning, only allowing a home run to Yankee catcher Kyle Higashioka while striking out 14 Yankees. He only allowed 2 Yankee hits in the game. He was coming off a complete-game win against the Miami Marlins on Sunday. After that win, he had time to go to the hospital and witness the birth of his son Derek.
Yankees hitters struggled, but Gleyber Torres came through in the eleventh inning
Up against one of the best pitchers in baseball, the oft-time struggling Yankee hitters continued to struggle. So far this season, the Yankee hitters have been hot or cold, mostly cold. Off of Scherzer, they could only muster up two hits in nearly eight innings. Catcher Kyle Higashioka broke out of his mini-slump by hitting the Yankees’ only home run. Miguel Andujar, who was brought up from Scranton to replace Gio Urshela, has gone 0 for 6 in the Nats series.
The New York Yankees played without Gio Urshela, who is not on the IL but is day to day recovering from a knee injury suffered in the last game of the Astros series and igniting hitter Rougned Odor. Most all the hitters struggled against Nationals pitching. The starting three, LeMahieu, Stanton, and Judge, went 3 for 12 at the plate. One hitter, Gleyber Torres, was the star of the game. His single in the ninth inning tied the game at 3 and pushed it into extra innings. At the bottom of the eleventh, with DJ LeMahieu as the ghost runner, Stanton took to the plate, and with Tanner Rainy on the mound, Stanton walked. Judge walked to load the bases with no outs. Gleyber Torres had a 50′ infield single to get the walk-off win.
This was the first walk-off win for the Yankees this season. They are now one game over .500. For complete coverage of the win go here.
Today at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the Yankees will again face the Washington Nationals in the final rubber game of the 3 game set. Today’s game is the most difficult to predict the outcome; much has to do with which Domingo German shows up. German (2-2 ERA 4.32) will face the Nationals’ Joe Ross (2-2 ERA 4.39). Between his 2 starts against the Orioles and Cleveland, German went 12 innings scoreless, but in his last outing, he went only five innings giving up three earned runs; in a game, the Yankees eventually won over the Astros.
Joe Ross has never faced the New York Yankees before and has not experienced Yankee Stadium and its fans. He is 3-2 in interleague games in his career. So far this season, the Nationals had lost 3 of his 5 starts, including his last start against the Atlanta Braves, when he went 5.1 innings giving up 2 earned runs while striking out 3 and walking 2 Braves. The Sunday matinee will be televised on the YES Network, MASN, and MLB out of market.