Gore in New York:
MacKenzie Gore left a full-count curve up for Aaron Judge with one out in the bottom of the first inning last night in New York, and the Yankees’ slugger hit it 431 feet to center (at 111.3 MPH off of the bat) in Yankee Stadium, giving the home team a 1-0 lead in the 2nd game of 3 in the Bronx this week.
The Judge lays down the gavel ⚖️ pic.twitter.com/EZ4zzRSoYR— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 23, 2023
Harrison Bader singled, stole second, took third on a groundout, and scored on a play at the plate when Keibert Ruiz dropped the ball on a throw home from CJ Abrams at short, 2-0.
An E:9 on a fly to right-center off Kyle Higashioka’s which both center fielder Lane Thomas and right fielder Stone Garrett converged on and let drop, off Garrett’s glove as they both went for it, put two on with one out, and a walk to Oswald Perez loaded the bases as Gore struggled with his command. Judge came up again one out later and hit a grand slam out to center, 437 ft. this time, 112.8 MPH off the bat, on a 1-0 fastball down the middle at 94 MPH, 6-0.
Gore was up to 55 pitches by the time he got out of the second, so he got just four innings in overall, throwing 80 pitches total, retiring the final seven batters he faced, but his outing ended at that point, with the Nationals still behind 6-0 in what ended up a 9-1 loss.
“He’s facing one of the best hitters in the game, one of the best power hitters in the game,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said of the damage Judge did against Gore. “So yeah, he just — he came back after that [second inning] and threw some good innings. I just wanted to get him out [of] there knowing the situation that we’re in with him. He had 80 pitches at that point, so we’ll reset him and get him going for his next outing, but he competes. He got frustrated there a little bit, but came back out and gave us a couple more innings and pitched well after that.”
STONE GARRETT INJURED:
It was 7-0 in the Yankees’ favor in the seventh, after DJ LeMahieu lined a home run to right field off reliever Jose A. Ferrer, and Stone Garrett, tracking the ball to the wall, leapt and planted his left foot on the padded fence, but he hit it hard, his lower leg/ankle (it appeared) gave, and the right fielder fell to the ground in obvious pain. He eventually (with help from both team’s trainers) made his way to his feet/foot, with an aircast wrapped on his injured leg, but he declined to go off on a stretcher, getting up with the help, and hopping to the cart which drove him off the field.
Garrett was devastated, in tears for much of the time they were tending to him on the field, pounding his fist in frustration on the cart, after what looked to be a significant injury to his ankle.
Nats are waiting for X-ray and MRI results on Stone Garrett, but Davey Martinez said good initial sense is that it’s his lower leg, not ankle.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 24, 2023
“You never want to see anybody get hurt, and when he went down like that, just my heart dropped,” manager Davey Martinez said after the game.
“He was out there wincing. He was pretty hurt. Hopefully, he’s okay. It’s his left leg. I know he’s getting X-rays. We don’t know anything yet, so we’ll know more when they get back.
“But it was tough. He’s one of our clubhouse favorites. I love the kid, so I hope everything is okay.”
Where exactly was the issue?
“I think it’s his lower leg. I think his ankle’s okay, but I don’t know. He’s going to get an MRI, X-rays, but to me it looked like it was just his lower leg.”
Accompanying the news of Davey Martinez’s multi-year extension, were reports on GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals’ ongoing negotiations on another new deal, for the architect of their 2019 World Series championship club and the current organizational reboot.
“Nationals extend manager Davey Martinez, close to deal with GM Mike Rizzo,” the headline read at The Athletic, with Ken Rosenthal and Brittany Ghiroli reporting Rizzo was, “close to a new deal, according to sources briefed on the discussions.”
According to Rizzo, that’s how it should be. His goal was to shepherd the extension for the Nats’ skipper through, before negotiating his own deal.
“I’ll put it this way,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning.
“I’m Davey’s boss,” he continued, “... my job is to take care of Davey and to take care of the players in the clubhouse and I’ve done my job. It was important for me to have ownership sign off on this multi-year contract. To me it was important for me to have Davey solidified in that clubhouse as a guy who is going to be around and see this rebuild go through, so that was a success. And job well done, Mike, so I appreciate that.”
Patting himself on the back, sure, but the Nationals’ 22-year-old shortstop, CJ Abrams, did talk in his post game press scrum on Tuesday night about the vibe in the clubhouse, since they know now Martinez will be around for a few more years.
“We got a lot in store,” Abrams said of growing up alongside and winning with some of his young teammates, who figure to be the core of the next championship-caliber club in the nation’s capital.
“A young team, we’re coming together ... and we got Davey for another two years, so we’re going to make things happen.”
“Davey’s been terrific,” Rizzo said of the job the sixth-year skipper’s done over the last three years through the reboot process. “He’s earned it, he deserves it, there can’t be another guy to see this through.
“The guy went from a World Series champ to rebuilder and hopefully comes out of it the other end as World Series champ again.”
They’ve made slow progress, and already this year have more wins than they did over the 162-game season last season, and Rizzo said it’s what he and the Nationals’ brass wanted, steady progress.
“That’s the progression we’re looking for,” Rizzo told the Junkies. “You go from 55 [wins] to 65 to 70 or 75 and then the year after that you progress from that and that’s kinda been the formula we had in ‘09, ‘10, ‘11, and ‘12. That was the blueprint, the quote-unquote ‘game plan’, the blueprint, to increase wins and to improve like that.”
“We’re not gonna get a ring or a parade for increasing 10-15, 17 wins,” he said, “but we’re going in the right direction to have a parade somewhere down the road and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
Will he turn his attention to his own extension now and ensure he’s around to continue the reboot as well? Rizzo said he will do his own negotiating.
“General Managers are not allowed to have an agent that is also a player agent, that would be a conflict of interest,” he explained. “So I handle things on my own, I’ve been doing it for a long time, I’ve negotiated a lot of deals in my career, and negotiated a few for myself, and I think we’ll continue that.”