New York Yankees’ shortstop Didi Gregorius took Tanner Roark deep twice, for solo homers both times, and lefty CC Sabathia and the Yanks’ bullpen held the Washington Nationals in check, taking the first of two in Yankee Stadium by a final score of 3-0.
Suppoart Roark: Tanner Roark received more runs of support in his last start before tonight (11), than he got in his previous five outings (with a relief appearance mixed in-between).
Even with the eleven runs of support in the 11-2 win over Tampa Bays’ Rays, Roark still had the ninth-lowest average run support per start of any National League pitcher (3.83).
Roark snapped a six-start winless streak against the Rays, improving to (3-6) in 13 outings (12 of them starts) in 2018, with a 3.56 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 25 walks (2.87 BB/9), 65 Ks (7.47 K/9), and a .209/.285/.357 line against in 78 innings as a starter in 2018.
He fell behind early tonight when he threw a 1-1 curve to Didi Gregorius that went out over the 385 ft sign on the outfield wall in right-center for a solo shot and a 1-0 Yankees’ lead.
A walk to Aaron Hicks and a single by Neil Walker followed in the next two at bats, with the grounder off Walker’s bat bouncing off Wilmer Difo’s glove into short right. Bryce Harper’s throw in to third trying for Hicks got by the bag too, allowing Walker to take second, and a sac fly by Austin Romine brought Hicks in to put the Yanks up by two, 2-0.
It was still 2-0 Yankees in the fifth when Romine and Gleyber Torres connected for back-to-back singles to start the inning. Romine took third on a fly to center off Brett Gardner’s bat, and a walk to Aaron Judge loaded them up, but Greg Byrd popped out to shallow left, and Giancarlo Stanton grounded out to end the threat. Still 2-0 NY.
It was 3-0 in the sixth after Didi Gregorius got Roark again, crushing a 3-2 fastball, sending a leadoff blast into the second deck in right for his second home run of the game and his 13th of 2018.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks, 2 HRs 106 P, 61 S, 3/6 GO/FO.
CC vs D.C.: CC Sabathia, 37, was winless in five starts in May, with a 5.92 ERA, 5.08 FIP, nine walks, 22 Ks, and a .294/.348/.520 line against in 24 1⁄3 IP over that stretch, but he earned a win last time out before tonight, in a seven-inning outing against the Toronto Blue Jays.
On the season, the 18-year-veteran left-hander was (3-1) with a 3.59 ERA, a 4.72 FIP, 15 walks (2.34 BB/9), 44 Ks (6.87 K/9), and a .233/.286/.419 line against in 57 2⁄3 innings pitched so far in 2018.
Sabathia was going up against a Nationals’ roster that had a combined .237/.313/.385 line vs lefties in 2018, which had them ranked 18th/20th/20th across the line among all MLB teams.
That was a milestone strikeout for the Big Fella. pic.twitter.com/8YN3eTY6je— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 13, 2018
Given a 2-0 lead to work with in the second, Sabathia worked his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the third, completing three scoreless on 61 pitches, and he was up to 87 after five, then came back out for the sixth, before a two-out infield single by Michael A. Taylor ended his outing after 5 2⁄3 scoreless and 101 pitches.
CC Sabathia’s Line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 101 P, 62 S, 4/5 GO/FO.
DH Murphy: After missing 63 games while recovering from offseason knee surgery, Daniel Murphy, who put up a .291/.343/.480 line vs lefties last season, returned to the Nationals’ lineup against Yank’s lefty CC Sabathia, who’d held left-handed hitters to a .231/.302/.487 line on the season heading into tonight’s matchup in Yankee Stadium.
Not an easy start for his game of the season, but Murphy said he was ready for it.
“I think the fact my knee was able to take the load of hitting as far back as Spring Training has been helpful,” Murphy said before his 2018 debut.
“I would like to say I’m going to get a lot of base hits, but I’m not in the position [to be] predicting the future. I feel like I’m in a good spot to go out there and play and execute a good plan.”
He struck out and then popped out in his first two plate appearances against Sabathia, then grounded weakly to the mound the third time up, 0 for 3.
Murphy got Dellin Betances with a runner on and one out in the eighth, and battled for ten pitches before striking out, 0 for 4.
Michael A. Taylor = Future Gold Glove winner?:
Catch of the Year nominee Michael A. Taylor... pic.twitter.com/SDI7vhZdWz— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 13, 2018
BULLPEN ACTION: Chad Green took over for CC Sabathia with a runner on and two out in the Nationals’ half of the sixth and Pedro Severino due up, but catcher Austin Romine got Michael A. Taylor on an attempted steal for the third out of the inning.
Green returned to the mound in the seventh and worked around a one-out bloop single by Wilmer Difo for a scoreless frame that kept it a 3-0 game in the Yankees’ favor.
Matt Grace got the call for the Nationals in the Yankees’ seventh, and gave up back-to-back, one-out singles by Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge, respectively, putting runners on first and third before a 6-3 double play off Greg Bird’s bat got the Nats’ lefty out of the jam.
Dellin Betances took the mound for the Yankees in the eighth and hit Bryce Harper on the foot with an 0-2 slider, which made it 2 BBs and 2 HBPs for Harper on the night.
Harper tried to take first base, but turned back halfway up the line and essentially removed himself from the game. Betances stranded Harper’s pinch runner at first three outs later.
Wander Suero came on in the Yankees’ eighth, retiring the side in order in a 17-pitch inning.
Aroldis Chapman took over looking for the save in the top of the ninth, and completed a quick 1-2-3 frame. Ballgame.
Final Score: 3-0 Yankees.
Nationals now 36-28