Jun 16, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) throws in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
• Let's Go Yankee--- BOOO!!!!!: There was a significantly larger contingent of New York fans in Nationals Park this afternoon judging by the reaction Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter got when he stepped in to face Washington Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann in the top of the first. Jeter grounded out to third to start the game. They were loud when Curtis Granderson flew to right in the next at bat too, but Michael Morse, despite an odd route, managed to make the catch, and Jordan Zimmermann threw an 0-2 slider by a swinging Mark Teixeira to end a quick, seven-pitch, 1-2-3 opening frame. Yankees' lefty Andy Pettitte got the first out of the Nats' first on one pitch to Danny Espinosa, who flew out to Granderson in center. Pettitte threw a 1-1 slider by a flailing Bryce Harper in the 19-year-old rookie's first at bat against the 40-year-old veteran hurler, then Pettitte went right back to the pitch to get a swinging K and out no.2 and a groundout to short by Ryan Zimmerman ended a an 8-pitch bottom of the inning in Nationals Park.
0-0 after one in game two of three for New York in D.C....
• Jesus Flores + Broken Bat + Double = Miracle: Jordan Zimmermann threw a 2-2 slider inside by Robinson Cano for his second K of the day and the first out of the Yankees' second. Nick Swisher took the first walk of the afternoon from Zimmermann, but the Nats' starter got former Philly Nat-Killer Raul Ibanez with another (even nastier) two-strike slider inside and got help from Ryan Zimmerman (no relation:) on a swinging bunt toward third by Russell Martin that ended a 17-pitch top of the inning. The Nats' half of the second started with Michael Morse reaching on a pop to short center that Robinson Cano got a glove on but dropped and one out later Tyler Moore took a four-pitch walk from the Yankees' veteran lefty to put two on for Xavier Nady. Nady fouled a few down the third base line, but eventually K'd swinging for out no.2, but Jesus Flores came through with a shattered bat, two-run double to left and off the outfield wall that gave the Nationals a 2-0 lead after two.
• CHAVEZ!!!: Yankees' third baseman Eric Chavez singled through short to start the third on a 1-1 change from Jordan Zimmermann. Andy Pettitte got a sac bunt down/gave away an out to move the into scoring position. Zimmermann almost turned a quick 1-6 DP on a liner back to the mound, but Chavez managed to get back to the bag. Curtis Granderson worked the count full in the next AB and walked on the 8th pitch he saw. Mark Teixeira too worked the count full, but took a 3-2 slider on the outside edge for a called strike three and the end of a 25-pitch third for the Nats' starter. 49 pitches after three. After Danny Espinosa grounded out to start the Nationals' 3rd, Bryce Harper K'd swinging at an 0-2 slider for his second strikeout in two at bats. Ryan Zimmerman walked with two down to get Michael Morse up, but a leaping Eric Chavez robbed Morse of extra bases when he went up to bring a line drive headed to left back down. 2-0 Nats after three.
• E:6 = 2-1: Robinson Cano took a six-pitch walk to start the fourth. Nick Swisher followed with a single through second to put two on with no one out. Xavier Nady and Ian Desmond almost collided on a pop to short left by Raul Ibanez, but Cano had to wait at second to see if it fell, so he got thrown out at third. Ryan Zimmerman tried to turn a 5-4-3 DP on a grounder to third by Russell Martin, but Tyler Moore couldn't backhand a low throw from Danny Espinosa so there were runners on the corners with two out. Zimmermann got what should have been an inning-ending grounder to short off Eric Chavez's bat, but Ian Desmond bobbled it and had no play. One run scores. 2-1 Nationals after three and a half. Zimmermann had to throw five more pitches to Andy Pettitte and the 30-pitch inning had him at 79 after four.
• 49 to 79: Andy Pettitte threw quick 8-pitch fourth that had him at 49 pitches total on the day. Zimmermann was right back on the hill in the fifth after a long fourth inning. Danny Espinosa dove to snag a low liner off Jeter's bat, showing the ump at second his glove to prove that he got it. Tyler Moore tossed to the covering pitcher at first on a sharp grounder off Granderson's bat, and Jordan Zimmermann got Mark Teixeira swinging with a 1-2 slider to end the top of the fifth after 13 pitches. Zimmermann singled with one down in the Nationals' fifth and moved up when Danny Espinosa walked in the next AB, but Bryce Harper K'd swinging at a slider for the third time in three AB's and Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to short to end the fifth. Still 2-1 Nats.
• If Tyler Moore Had Made That Play?: Robinson Cano singled by a diving Tyler Moore at first to start the sixth, then took third on a double to right by Nick Swisher. Jordan Zimmermann, who started the inning at 92 pitches, was up to 95 at that point with runners on second and third. Raul Ibanez brought Cano in with an RBI groundout that tied it at 2-2, but Zimmermann barehanded a grounder back to the mound off Russell Martin's bat and threw home in time to get Swisher and keep it tied. 2-2, 2 outs, but Eric Chavez gave New York a lead when he doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right to bring Martin in and make it a 3-2 game. Zimmermann got the opposing pitcher to end the Yankees' sixth and the 16-pitch frame had him at 108 pitches. Andy Pettitte retired the first two batters in the Nats' sixth on five pitches, but Tyler Moore battled in a 10-pitch AB that ended with a two-out single. Xavier Nady grounded into a force in the next at bat, however, so it was still 3-2 NY after six.
• Zimmermann's Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K's, 108 P, 69 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
• Enough With the Pettitte Already: Ross Detwiler gave up a one-out walk to Curtis Granderson in the Yankees' seventh, then threw a wild pitch that allowed the outfielder to take second. Mark Teixeira took a 3-1 fastball for ball four to put two on with one out, but a broken bat liner to short by Robinson Cano allowed Ian Desmond to turn an easy, unassisted, inning-ending DP. 3-2 Yankees in the 7th. Andy Pettitte started the 7th at 84 pitches. Jesus Flores K'd swinging at a 2-2 slider. Pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi lined out to left. Danny Espinosa... singled through second on a broken bat grounder. Pettitte had to hop over the barrel of the bat, and wasn't happy with the hit. Bryce Harper (0 for 3, 3 K's) spit on back-to-back sliders to get ahead 2-0 but flew out to center to end the 7th. 0 for 4 for Harper.
• What Oblique Issue?: Ross Detwiler threw a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 8th, after which Andy Pettitte was replaced on the mound by Yankees' right-hander Cory Wade. Ryan Zimmerman flew out to right in the first at bat of the Nats' eighth. Michael Morse grounded out to second. Two pitches, two outs for the Yankees' reliever. Ian Desmond, whose participation in today's game was a question mark until it was announced just before the start, got hold of a 2-2 pitch in the next at bat and sent a towering fly ball to left for a two-out solo blast that tied it at 3-3 in the 8th. Desmond's 10th of 2012 matches a career high. Tyler Moore took a two-out walk from Wade. Pinch hitter Adam LaRoche got a new pitcher out of the Yankees' pen, Boone Logan. Moore stole second and was running when LaRoche lined to right... There's going to be a play at the plate... and Moore's nailed on the throw in from Dewayne Wise. "You're OUT!" says home plate ump Tim Timmons. No one watching on tv seemed to agree... 3-3 game after eight.
• BTW: Safe?
Super, super safe yfrog.com/nzu77yqj— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) June 16, 2012
• Ready or Not: Tyler Clippard gave up a leadoff walk in an 11-pitch showdown with Eric Chavez then the Yankees gave up an out bunting him over. Derek Jeter worked the count full and K'd swinging at a high heater from Clippard for out no.2. Curtis Granderson walked with two down to bring Mark Teixeira to the plate, but he flew out to left to keep it tied after eight and a half. A 29-pitch inning for Clippard, but he keeps it tied. Back-to-back groundouts got Boone Logan the first two outs of the ninth and Danny Espinosa made it three-straight with a roller to short. FREE BASEBALL!!!! 3-3 after nine.
• STRAIGHTEN THAT CAP, PUNK!!!: Sean Burnett took over in the 10th. Danny Espinosa sprinted to his right, made a sliding play and threw to first for the first out of the inning. Alex Rodriguez made a pinch hit appearance and sent the second straight grounder out to Espinosa. Two down. And Burnett carved up Dewayne Wise to end a 13-pitch, 7 strike 1-2-3 inning. Yankees' lefty Clay Rapada threw five-straight sliders to Bryce Harper to get the rookie outfielder looking. Backwards K and out no.1. Cody Eppley took over with Ryan Zimmerman due up. Zim grounded out to short for out no.2 and Michael Morse did the same, 1-2-3 in the 10th and it's on to the 11th. Craig Stammen got help from Ryan Zimmerman with two slick plays on hard-hit grounders to third and got out of the top of the 11th with the score still tied. Cody Eppley came back out for the bottom of the inning. Ian Desmond K'd swinging. Roger Bernadina K'd swinging. Adam LaRoche... took a two-out walk, but Jesus Flores popped out to end the 11th.
• E:5: Craig Stammen struck Derek Jeter out to start the 12th. Bryce Harper took charge and tracked down a pop to left-center that Ian Desmond and Steve Lombardozzi struggled to get to. Ryan Zimmerman fielded a sharp grounder off Mark Teixeira's bat, bobbled it and threw it over first. E:5 and a runner on second with two down. Stammen walked Robinson Cano intentionally to get to backup backstop Chris Stewart, who K'd swinging to end the top of the 12th. Still 3-3 in D.C. 6.0 hitless innings for the Nats' bullpen in relief of Jordan Zimmermann. Freddy Garcia took the mound for New York in the bottom of the inning and retired the Nationals in order on a fly to center by Lomardozzi and swinging K's by Espinosa and Harper. 3-3 after 12.0. Harper 0 for 6 with 5 K's today.
• E? On Derek Jeter?: Craig Stammen got help from Bryce Harper, who made a diving catch in center to rob Eric Chavez of a two-out single and end the seventh hitless inning by the Nats' relievers. Freddy Garcia came back out for the Nats' half with Ryan Zimmerman leading off. Zimmerman ripped a grounder to short that Derek Jeter couldn't handle and the Nationals had the leadoff runner on. Pinch hitter Rick Ankiel did the pitcher's job, bunting Zimmerman over. Ian Desmond, whose 8th inning HR tied it, moved Zimmerman over to third with a groundout to second. Roger "The Shark" Bernadina... grounded out to short. On to the 14th... where Brad Lidge gave up a leadoff single by Jayson Nix. Nix stole second with Derek Jeter up, and took third on a single through short. First and third with no outs. Curtis Granderson K'd swinging at a 1-2 slider for out no.1. Mark Teixeira... doubled to right on a 2-1 slider and gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead. Lidge got Freddy Garcia swinging for out no.2. Michael Gonzalez took over with runners on the corners and two down and popped Dewayne Wise up to end the inning.
• Salvage Sunday?: Rafael Soriano came out to end it in the bottom of the 14th. Adam LaRoche lined to left. Jesus Flores kept hope alive with a one-out single through short. Steve Lombardozzi followed that with a single to center to put two on for Danny Espinosa. Espi flew to right for out no. 2 and Bryce Harper stepped in with the game on the line and grounded out to end it. 5-3 Yankees.
• Miss The Game? The D.C. Faithful Were Watching...
• Doghouse's Post Game WPA Graph: COMING SOON!!
Nationals now 39-24, 38-25.