Game 40 Recap: Nationals 8 Yankees 6 (10 Innings)

Nathan Eovaldi The Yankees reached the quarter pole of the regular season last night, and they did in the same fashion as they did heading into Monday's off-day by losing on the road.

It was as bad a 1st inning as you could have if you were Nathan Eovaldi.  He gave up solo home runs to Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper to immediately put the Yankees in a hole.  It felt like it was going to be a long night, but Eovaldi managed to get past it and work through the next 3 innings scoreless.  He needed a big double play to help him out in the 4th, but he didn't unravel and gave the offense a chance to get into the game.

And they did that in a big way in the top of the 4th.  Jacoby Ellsbury (more on him later) started the inning off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on a Chris Young single to get the Yankees on the board.  With 2 outs and runners on the corners, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew came through with big hits.  Seriously.  Headley doubled Young home and Drew drove in 2 after a Jose Pirela single.  Suddenly it was 4-2 Yankees.  Mark Teixeira pops a 2-out, 2-run homer in the top of the 5th to make it 6-2 and things started looking pretty good.

Which meant it was time for that Eovaldi unraveling to happen.  He walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 5th and then gave up a double and 3 straight singles on 10 pitches to plate 3 Washington runs and get the Nats back in the game.  He couldn't even finish the inning, needing Justin Wilson to induce a Harper GIDP to preserve the lead and prevent further damage.

The 'pen coming in that early meant Joe was going to have to get something from his B and C guys.  He didn't.  David Carpenter came on for the 6th and gave up a solo home run to Wilson Ramos to tie the game.  Once it got to the A guys in both 'pens, the teams traded zeros through the regulation 9 and headed into extra innings.

The Yankees did nothing with a 2-out walk in the top half of the 10th, and after 2 stellar innings from Dellin Betances, it was Andrew Miller's turn to hold the opposition at bay, and for the first time this season he failed to do that.  He sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a walk to almost escape the inning and give the lineup another chance, but Ryan Zimmerman gave an outside fastball a ride to right on a 3-1 pitch and lined it off the foul pole for the walk-off home run.  Tip your cap.  Miller wasn't going to go scoreless forever.

Game Notes:

- The big story last night was Jacoby Ellsbury leaving the game in the bottom of the 4th after taking a funny swing and injuring his knee during his at-bat in the top of the inning.  He was placed on the 15-day DL last night with what the team is calling a "right knee sprain" after an MRI, and Slade Heathcott has been called up to take his spot on the roster.  Knee injuries are never good news and Ellsbury is one of the Yankees' best players, so this really stinks.  Hopefully we get more on Ellsbury's situation in the days to come.

- What can you say about Eovaldi?  He's great 1 inning and he sucks the next, or vice versa.  Say what you want about being young and still learning, giving up 5 earned runs in a start where you don't make it out of the 5th inning is not good.

- Sexy Teixy looked like he had some life back in his bat last night.  2-3 with the homer and 2 walks.  He's at .258/.380/.602 for the year.

- They scored 6 runs, but the Yankee lineup really didn't generate that many good scoring chances, especially in the later innings.  They had 8 hits as a team and half of them came from Teix and Drew.  That's not enough.

- It won't get mentioned a lot today because of the outcome, but big ups to Chase Shreve for coming on and striking out Harper with 2 on and 2 out in the 7th.  Didn't throw him 1 fastball in the at-bat.  That takes some stones and Shreve came through.  Good for him.

- Hard to get on Miller.  He's been aces all year, but eventually you're going to give up some runs.  He threw a fastball in a fastball count and Zimmerman got enough to drive it out.  I'm sure Miller will be fine.  His ERA is only up to a massive 0.98.