Game 59 Recap: Nationals 5 Yankees 4 (11 Innings)

Lindgren vs WAS Objectively this game sucked.  It should have been a win, it wasn't, and to lose in extras when you come back late and then give one away always hurts.  GIven that the Yankee had won 7 straight prior to this 1 loss, and given the more important long-term developments with Andrew Miller, this has to be chalked up as a bump in the road and something from which you just move on.

It was a slow go early for the Bombers.  They managed a paltry 2 hits off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez through 6 innings.  Lotta GB outs and no real scoring opportunities.  It was a shame too, because despite a few rough patches it was actually a pretty good outing for Nathan Eovaldi.  He gave up a run in the 3rd on back-to-back doubles and another in the 5th on a hanging curve to Danny Espinosa that ended up as a solo home run.  Other than that, he was solid.  His fastball was upper 90s all day, he was mixing his splitter and curveball in pretty regularly, and he was getting a lot of outs on the ground.  In small doses, you can see the pitcher Roth wants him to be starting too emerge.

After 7 innings of 2-run ball, Eovaldi was in line to be the tough luck loser.  Then the offense woke up.  Chris Young started the inning with a single, the newly activated Brendan Ryan hit a triple (!?!?) to score Young, and Gio's day was over.  Someone named Felipe Rivero came in and he was rudely welcomed to the game by Brett Gardner with a game-tying double down the right field line.  Rivero got Chase Headley though, and passed the ball to righty Aaron Barrett to face Alex Rodriguez.  A-Rod smoked an 0-1 fastball down the middle out to the warning track in center for the go-ahead double, then came around for a tack-on run after Teix got plunked and Brian McCann singled up the middle.  5 hits, 4 runs, 3 extra-basers, 3 pitchers, 1 hit batsman, and 1 awesome comeback.

Until the game got the bullpen.  Joe went with Jacob Lindgren in the 8th after Eovaldi went back out and couldn't get an out.  Lindgren got Bryce Harper to fly out for the first out, and got what looked like an inning-ending double play ball to Chase Headley off the bat of Ian Desmond.  But Stephen Drew bobbled the transfer and couldn't complete the play, which gave Michael Taylor a chance to hit with 2 outs and a man on first.  Lindgren threw him a 1-2 sinker that stayed way up and Taylor hit it out over the short porch for a game-tying, gut-punching 2-run homer.  Tough situation for Lindgren, questionable decisions all around by Joe, bad play by Drew.  Everybody shares a slice of blame pie there.

So onto extra innings.  The Yanks had something started in the 10th when Teix led off with a single, but the rally was extinguished when McCann struck out and pinch runner Didi Gregoirus got caught for the back end of a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the inning.  Justin Wilson had given way to Chris Capuano at this point, and Washington put together a single-sac bunt-groundout-infield RBI single sequence together to push the go-ahead run across.  The Yankees went down quietly in the bottom half and a day of big ups and big downs was over.  But remember, 7-1 in the last 8 is damn good.

Game Notes:

- Obviously we know why Andrew Miller wasn't available today and that's more than understandable.  But if you want to get on Joe for how he handled the 8th inning, get mad at him for using Dellin Betances in a 5-run game last night and not having him today.  The 8th inning yesterday was the time for Lindgren and the 8th inning today was the time for Betances.

- I mentioned this on Twitter, but I'll mention it here again.  Terrible pitch selection by McCann or whoever calls pitches these days with 1-2 on Taylor there, and even worse execution by Lindgren.  He threw a belt-high sinker on the outer half that practically begged to be hit to the short porch.  Props to Taylor for doing it, but awful 1-2 execution by the battery.

- How about Brendan Ryan driving the offensive bus today in his first game of the year?  2-3, RBI triple, run scored, on base 3 times.  Maybe he's just the right-handed spark the bench needs.

- Also a 2-hit, 1-walk day for Teix.  Even with that lower average he's an on-base machine.  So cool how he's reinvented himself.

- You know, just once it would be nice to have Eovaldi go a few games where he didn't give up more than a hit an inning.  He's only done it twice in a dozen starts.  88 hits in 69.2 IP.  That's too many.