Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pesky Nats Nip Yankees

Yankees Comeback Thwarted in 9th

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
3 7 0
NY Yankees
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
2 4 0

WP - Lannan (4-5) SV - MacDougal (1) LP - Wang (0-5)

Robinson Cano had a marvelous day and night on Tuesday and was looking to repeat his feat as hero in last night’s Yankees game. Down 3-2 to in the 9th to the Washington Nationals, the Yankees had runners on the corners with one out and the hot Cano at the plate. He had a great at-bat against hard throwing Mike MacDougal, fouling off one pitch after another, but ultimately McDougal won the battle. Cano bounced into a game ending 6-4-3 double play, much to the chagrin of the 46,000+ in attendance. The loss also left the Yankees with a split of the first two games of a three game series with the worst team in baseball.

New papa Chien-Ming Wang took the hill for the Yankees with the weight of his pitching future resting squarely on his shoulders. He showed some improvement - allowed 3 runs in 5 innings, his longest start of the season - but didn’t have his best velocity and still left pitches in the hitting zone. As MLB Network Studio Analyst (and YES announcer) Al Leiter pointed out afterwards, Wang was still not coming over the top on his pitches, causing his sinker to tail rather than dart down. One of this pitches was ripped by former Yankee Nick Johnson to the gap in left-center and just out of the reach of a diving Melky Cabrera in the 5th inning. The resulting 2-run triple proved to be the difference in the ball game. Adam Dunn had given the Nats a 1-0 lead in the 4th with his 18th home run of the year.

The Yankees struggled against the Nats’ top starter John Lannan, who defeated the Mets in the Nats last trip to the Big Apple. He held the Yankees hitless until the 5th when Cano broke up the no-no and got the Yankees on the scoreboard with his 12th home run of the year. Johnny Damon doubled with one out in the 6th, but was stranded.

The Yankees finally doubled their hit output in the 9th when Damon cut the deficit to a single run with his 14th home run of the year and one out later, Mark Teixeira singled. With MacDougal on in relief, pinch-runner Brett Gardner stole 2nd and 3rd base to put the tying run 90 ft. away. McDougal walked Alex Rodriguez and things were set up for Cano. But you can’t be a hero every night.

Game Notes

Derek Jeter sat out the game as a precaution after leaving Tuesday’s game with a stiff ankle. He is expected to play today, though the 1:05 p.m. ET start will probably be a washout.

Brett Gardner’s 2 steals made him successful in 14 of 16 attempts. Imagine if he were a .300 hitter.

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