Another Cy Young winner? No problem
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Yankees recent seven-game win streak was the list of starting pitchers they beat along the way. After a 6-1 victory over the Nationals in the series opener, it included:
• two former Cy Young winners (Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez)
• two guys that have thrown a no-hitter (Hernandez, Jered Weaver)
• a couple recent top-25 prospects (Taijuan Walker, Mike Montgomery)
• a pitcher with the fifth-best ERA in the AL last season (Garrett Richards)
• a guy that started Game 1 of the World Series four years ago (C.J. Wilson)
On Tuesday night the Yankees countered with their own Cy Young hopeful, Masahiro Tanaka, who outdueled Scherzer in a battles of aces. Tanaka scattered five hits across seven innings, and his only mistake was a Bryce Harper solo homer in the fourth inning.
This was his fourth straight outing of at least six innings and no more than five hits and one run allowed, matching the longest such streak by any Yankee over the past 100 seasons. The last guy to do it was Orlando Hernandez in August 1998.
Stephen Drew book-ended the Yankees scoring with two solo homers, one in the third inning and one in the eighth inning, for his second multi-homer game in the past week. Each of his last four hits has been a homer; his last non-homer hit was June 2 in Seattle.
Drew joins Tony Lazzeri as the only Yankee second baseman in the last century to have two multi-homer games in a five-day span. Lazzeri did it in back-to-back games in 1936.
Extra, extra trouble
The Yankees longest win streak since 2012 came to end on Wednesday afternoon with a 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the Nationals. It was the first time the Yankees lost an extra-inning game at home to a Washington DC-based team since May 2, 1964 when the Washington Senators beat them 5-4 in 10 innings.
Fun fact: Don Zimmer was the leadoff hitter for the Senators in that game!
Not-so-fun fact: Yankees are now 1-4 in extra-inning games this season, the second-worst record in the AL, and have yet to record a walk-off win.
Even worse not-so-fun fact: Gio Gonzalez entered this game with a 7.30 ERA in seven starts against the Yankees, the highest ERA vs. the Yankees by any active pitcher who had made at least six starts against the team. So, of course, he held them scoreless for the first six frames.
The Yankees, though, rallied from a 2-0 deficit with four runs in the seventh inning. The key hit was a two-out, tie-breaking double delivered by Alex Rodriguez. It was A-Rod’s third go-ahead hit in the seventh inning or later in 2015 — the same number as all other Yankees combined this season.
But the bullpen faltered late in the game and the Yankees suffered a loss like none other this season. Before Wednesday, the Yankees were 15-0 at home when holding a lead entering the eighth inning.