For the second straight day, the Yankees were befuddled by a young arm from the Washington Nationals, this time Craig Stammen pitched 6.1 innings of shutout baseball, giving the Yankees their second straight loss, 3-0.
After a five hour and 26 minute rain delay, the Yankees could not get anything offensively going. They had several chances to score, but the defense from the Nats kept them scoreless through nine frames.
Starter Joba Chamberlain went six innings, allowing seven hits, three runs. He also walked four and struck out six. Joba’s start was decent enough, bolstered by several good defensive plays from the Yankees, especially A-Rod’s rifle to Tex and Cervelli’s dive for a pop out. But it wasn’t enough as Joba lost his second game.
For the Nats, leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman went 3 for 5, Ryan Zimmerman went 3 for 5 and Adam Dunn went 2 for 2 to power the Nat’s offense for their second straight victory, their first since the beginning of May.
For the Yankees, only Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher were able to produce. Both went .500 in the game today. There were several scoring opportunities for the Yankees, particularly in the bottom of the seventh with Cano on third, Swisher on second and Posada on first with the Captain pinch hitting for Ramiro Pena. Alas, Jeter grounded into a fielder’s choice. That was the extend of tonight’s game.
Brett Gardner made an amazing catch of an Austin Kearns flyball in the eighth, slamming into the wall and suffering what looked like a concussion. It wasn’t the only amazing catch as Willie Harris made a diving leap of an Alex Rodriguez line drive in the bottom of the seventh inning. A-Rod is now down to .212 and his “extended spring training” is not working well for him. He needs to get into an offensive groove.
The only bright spot of tonight was that the Yankees’ bullpen continues to perform very well. Al Aceves came in the seventh inning and retired all three batters he faced on 9 total pitches. Phil Coke came in for one frame and struck out two, and David Robertson came in the top of the ninth. He walked two, but was able to escape without allowing a run.
The Yankees head to south Florida to Joe Girardi’s first managerial stint, the Florida Marlins. Andy Pettitte will take the mound against the Marlins. It’s time for the Yankees to get their act together and get serious about producing instead of being in a scoring slump.