Is there no rock bottom for these Yankees?
38,105 fans at Yankee Stadium saw a total of just two hits, both from the ninth-place hitter, just one run scored, and it added up to a 9th straight loss as the Yankees fell 2-1 to the Washington Nationals.
It’s the first 9-game losing skid since September 1982 when the Yankees were managed by Clyde King (who was the 3rd manager that season along with Bob Lemon and Gene Micheal) and headed for a 79-win season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees have not lost 10 straight games since 1913, the first season they were actually called the Yankees.
Nationals’ shortstop C.J. Abrams’ solo home run in the top of the eighth off of losing pitcher Tommy Kahnle snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game winner.
Catcher Ben Rortvedt was the entire Yankee offense as he homered in the third and singled in the 7th. The rest of the lineup was 0 for 26. Aaron Judge was 0 for 4 and struck out three times while the Yankees have had 6 hits or fewer in 6 of their last 9 games.
Heck, the Beatles had more hits than these Yankees.
As has been the case for most of this season, Yankee Manager Aaron Boone can only lament his team’s struggles at the plate. ““Hit some balls on the screws but I thought we had some chances and some pitches to do things tonight and just couldn’t take advantage,” Boone said.
Everson Pereira made his Major League debut and was 0 for 3 but he provided a tinge of excitement when he came up in the ninth with a runner on first and trailing by a run. The 22-year old put a good swing on it but he lined out to center field.
The offensive futility spoiled what was a solid outing for Carlos Rodon, who made his first start since being activated off the IL. The left hander gave up a run on six hits in six innings pitched in what was his best start of the season.
Rortvedt caught Rodon for the first time and came away impressed. “His stuff was really good,” Rortvedt said. “I thought today he used his off speed really well to set up his fastball and his fastball set up his off speed.”
The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the third when Rodon gave up a home run to Carter Kieboom, who was making his first appearance in a Major League game since 2021. The 25-year old missed the entire 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and was not active due to a shoulder issue until he returned to the minor leagues in May.
Rortvedt tied the game with his second home run of the season off of Nationals starter Josiah Gray, a local kid who hails from New Rochelle, who allowed one run and one hit in six innings of work. Gray walked five and the Yankees had chances but they were 0 for 12 with runners on base, and had a total of two base runners over the last four innings as they didn’t even mount a threat.
Kahnle started the 8th and got the first two outs, but Abrams unloaded on a hanging change up and drove it just inside the right field foul pole into the second deck for his 13th home run of the season.
Nationals’ closer Kyle Finnegan started the ninth and walked Harrison Bader with one out. After Pereira lined out, Bader was on the move but Oswald Peraza, who was also called up from the minors, grounded out to third to close out another frustrating evening.
The Yankees had two runners on in the second and fifth innings but as has been their wont, they could not cash in on the opportunities.
In the second, Gray walked Giancarlo Stanton and Pereira also walked but Peraza grounded out. The Nationals right hander walked Rortvedt and D.J. LeMahieu back to back in the fifth, but Judge struck out and Gleyber Torres grounded into a force out at second.
The losing has to be wearing on the Yankees’ confidence. “It’s no fun walking in that locker room getting beat every night,” said Boone.
Maybe the “Bleacher Creatures” should come up with something to call out in the bottom of the first. How about, “We want a hit!”