The Nationals who had just swept the Red Sox at Fenway ran into an even hotter team and that was our beloved Yankees. Yes and that’s not all, the Yanks are the hottest team in baseball with the best record in the American league. Only the Dodgers have a better record than us and they are just in front. It just shows you the potential of the Yankees when everything comes together, great starting pitching, great bullpen and great timely hitting. That’s nine games in a row and 19 out of the last 22 games, check out the Yankees splits. Keep on trucking!
Final Game: Yanks 4 Nationals 1
WASHINGTON — The Yankees’ confidence never wavered when last place seemed closer than first, an obvious credit to their veteran leadership, but the act of showing up at the ballpark has been much more fun for the surging group in recent weeks.
Ivan Nova moved into the American League lead for victories with his fifth consecutive winning decision, and the red-hot Yankees posted their ninth straight win overall, defeating the Nationals, 4-1, on Sunday at Nationals Park.
“You’re saying I’ve got five in a row, but we’ve got nine in a row,” Nova said. “That’s amazing for me, the way I feel right now. I’m so happy the way we’ve been throwing the ball. I’m really happy about it.”
Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano homered for the Bombers as they completed a three-game series sweep of Washington, stamping an exclamation point on a successful Interleague road trip.
“We’re a home run-hitting club, there’s no doubt about it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s how we’re going to score most of our runs. We won a game today hitting home runs.”
Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save as the Yankees swept their third straight three-game series, having run through the Mets and Braves last week.
New York hadn’t swept three straight series of three games or more since wiping through the Phillies, Orioles and Rays from June 30-July 12, 1998, on their way to a franchise-record 114 wins and a World Series crown.
“I’ve said it dozens of times — no one in here panics, no one in here gets too down,” Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “And you’re not going to see us dancing on the tables now. We’ve got a lot of season to go, a lot more wins that we need, and we’re going to keep trying to play good baseball.”
Nova allowed just Adam LaRoche’s second-inning home run over 7 2/3 innings as he scattered seven hits, walking one and striking out four in his first career start against the club.
“I think [it's] the work that I’ve been putting in, the focus,” Nova said. “I’ve been working really, really hard to especially get my ground balls back, and today I made really good pitches. I got ground balls when I needed it.”
Nova became just the fourth pitcher in the Majors to reach nine victories, following the Mets’ R.A. Dickey (10), the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn (10) and the Phillies’ Cole Hamels (9). He walked off to a standing ovation from the pro-Yankees contingent of a sellout crowd of 41,442.
“He pitched well last year and he’s just carried it over,” Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. “He always has a lot of confidence. He threw strikes today. He’s been pretty much doing this for a year and a half.”
The Yankees managed two runs in six innings off Nationals starter Edwin Jackson, though in the continuation of a season-long issue, they also finished 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
“We’re still not happy about that,” Teixeira said. “I wish I could tell you the issue. I don’t know, I really don’t. We just have to be better with runners in scoring position. But our pitchers have picked us up; our pitchers have picked us up all year. If it’s not for them being so good, we’re not in first place right now.”……Read More
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Game 2: Yanks 5 Nationals 3
WASHINGTON — The big hit the Yankees waited half the game for finally arrived in the 14th inning on Saturday, as Mark Teixeira saw the slider he was sitting on and loudly banged it into the right-field corner.
As Teixeira ripped off his batting gloves and screamed to celebrate his go-ahead two-run double, a blow that lifted the Bombers to a 5-3 victory over the Nationals, the sensations the Yankees slugger said he exuded were ones of exhaustion and relief.
“When you’re fighting like that, scratching and clawing and not really getting anything — when hits are really hard to come by — that win feels really good,” Teixeira said.
Rafael Soriano nailed down the final three outs to preserve a victory for nearly forgotten long man Freddy Garcia, who pitched two scoreless innings, as the Yankees posted their eighth straight victory — and one they really had to scrap to get. It was the first time this season that the Bombers won a game without hitting a home run.
“Just find a way. Find a way to get it done,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what our guys did. The bullpen was tremendous — they stepped up and only gave up one run over seven innings. You get big hits, get big performances out of people. Our bullpen was great today. They found a way.”
Washington had the winning run 90 feet away in the 13th inning and two men on in the 14th, but Garcia wriggled free both times, flashing poise despite having pitched just once since May 22.
“I love that situation,” Garcia said. “I like being in the pressure. I love that. I’ve been there a long time. Because I’m in the bullpen, I don’t change my mind. I’ve got to go in there and throw strikes and make it happen.”
After six innings of three-run ball from starter Jordan Zimmermann, four Washington relievers kept the Yankees hitless after Eric Chavez’s sixth-inning RBI double. That changed in the 14th, as Jayson Nix and Derek Jeter opened the inning with hits off Brad Lidge.
Sitting slider, Teixeira’s one-out drive off Lidge rattled off against the right-field wall, representing just the Yankees’ second hit of the afternoon with runners in scoring position.
“That was exhausting. Give their pitchers a lot of credit,” Teixeira said. “I can see why that team’s in first place. Every reliever they brought in was as dirty as the next; not a lot of hits out there to get. We kept fighting.”
Teixeira’s go-ahead hit accounted for the game’s first scoring since Ian Desmond’s eighth-inning homer off Cory Wade, sticking Andy Pettitte with a no-decision after seven strong innings of two-run ball.
Washington nearly took the lead off Wade in the eighth, but Dewayne Wise unloaded a strong throw to home plate on an Adam LaRoche single that nailed Tyler Moore.
“The ball wasn’t hit hard,” Wise said. “I told myself, if I got a one-hopper or hard ground ball, I was going home with it. That’s what I did.”
Wise chuckled that he’d heard from teammates that umpire Tim Timmons might have missed the call, but the Yankees certainly didn’t mind.
“It was unbelievable. I thought we were going to go 25 innings,” Wise said. “I was looking in the bullpen thinking I might have to come in and throw an inning or two.”
Preceding six New York relievers, Pettitte turned in a commanding performance one day after his 40th birthday, though he said that he “was pretty gassed” after 95 pitches…….Read More
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Game One: Yanks 7 Nationals 2
WASHINGTON — The Yankees still haven’t won a game this year without the help of a home run, as Curtis Granderson’s ninth-inning blast spoiled that storyline, but another strong Phil Hughes start ensured they didn’t need to lean on the long ball.
Hughes won his third straight start to continue an impressive turnaround to his season, pitching six strong innings to lead the Yankees to their seventh straight win, a 7-2 drubbing of the Nationals on Friday at Nationals Park.
“It’s big. I want to keep the streak going as long as we can,” Hughes said. “The guys are pitching well, and you don’t want to be the one that lets it down. I’ll continue to try and get better between every start. Hopefully this keeps up.”
The victory was the 500th of manager Joe Girardi’s career, and the Yankees’ skipper was presented with a game ball by team captain Derek Jeter in the clubhouse.
“It’s a big deal,” Jeter said. “500 is like 750 in New York. He’s done a great job since he’s been with us, and he should be extremely proud of that.”
Hughes is pitching his best ball since his 2010 All-Star campaign, having recaptured an aggressive mindset, and got through Friday’s start without surrendering a home run — something that had dented his 12 previous starts this year.
Helped by the turn of a third-inning double play that Jeter said was the key to the game, Hughes’ one-run, nine-strikeout performance stifled a red-hot Washington club that had won its last six contests coming into Friday’s affair.
“Good command of his fastball and expanding with a breaking ball; that’s the key for him,” Girardi said. “He’s done a good job of it, got some strikeouts when he needed to, and for the most part, he executed his pitches.”
The Yankees came in 0-12 this season in games that they had not homered, and nearly won their first with a long ball before Granderson went deep in the ninth, crushing his team-leading 20th off Tom Gorzelanny and spoiling the chances of erasing that statistical fluke.
“They mentioned that afterwards; I didn’t know,” said Granderson, who heard ribbing from some teammates. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to.’”……….Read More
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