About Last Night, Nationals 2, Yankees 1
by Derek McAdam
August 23, 2023
The New York Yankees fell to the Washington Nationals last night by a score of 2-1, extending their losing streak to nine straight games, the franchise’s longest since 1982.
W: Mason Thompson (4-4): 1 IP, 1 H
L: Tommy Kahnle (1-2): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K
S: Kyle Finnigan (22)
The Big Story:
Before last night’s game, the Yankees made several changes to the roster. Carlos Rodon was activated of the IL and started the game for the Yankees. Additionally, Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira were called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with both players getting a position in the startling lineup. For Pereira, it was his Major League debut after a successful stint at the Triple-A level.
Rodon returned for the Yankees, and arguably, gave the team his best start of the season in six innings of work. In the top of the 3rd, Carter Kieboom, who was called up Tuesday from the Triple-A level, hit a solo home run off Rodon to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. However, Ben Rortvedt followed up in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run of his own, tying the game.
The Yankees were able to keep the damage to a minimum with a combination of bad base running from the Nationals, as well as some nice throws from the outfielders. In a rare occurrence, every Yankee outfielder had an assist last night, all of which involved a runner getting thrown out at second base. However, it ultimately would not be enough.
In the 8th, CJ Abrams delivered a solo home run off Kahnle to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead, which would ultimately be the final score. The Yankees hit several balls to the deep outfield, with some even making it to the warning track. However, none of them landed past the outfield wall, which is the only fact that truly matters.
Player of the Game:
CJ Abrams delivered the knockout blow to the Yankees with his home run and also made several nice defensive plays to keep runners off the bases.
Both pitching squads ultimately did their jobs in keeping the opponents off the board. However, the Nationals’ pitching staff really seemed to shut down the entire team, with the exception of Ben Rortvedt who homered and singled - the Yankees' only two hits.
Better to Forget:
The entire Yankee lineup except for Rortvedt. The Yankees continue to put together abysmal offensive numbers during this streak. It just doesn’t seem to be getting much better.
It truly is incredible to see how this team has just fallen apart over the past few weeks. Sure, they’ve been a mess for a majority of the season at this point, but this is just horrific. Over the past six games, the Yankees have scored one run that did not come via a home run. Yes, you read that correctly. ONE. RUN. It's a statistic that just doesn’t even seem fathomable, but the Yankees have made that a reality.
Here’s what I like to see though. I want to see the younger players in the lineup. Pereira and Peraza should both see constant playing time while they are with the Yankees. Whether or not that will actually happen will have to be determined, but at this point in the season, where making the playoffs is nearing a 0% chance, they should give the younger kids a chance. Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney are not dynamic players and have been passed around the big leagues the past few years. It’s not meant to be a shot at them, but Pereira is a more valuable piece going forward for the Yankees.
When I found out that the Yankees’ eight-game losing streak was its longest since 1995, I found that hard to believe. I knew they’ve had some bad stints over the years since I’ve been alive (1999), but I didn’t know it never reached eight games. The nine-game losing streak is the longest since 1982, so even more Yankee fans can say they’ve never experienced this long of a streak.
I know the Yankees won’t do what the Chicago White Sox did in firing their general manager yesterday, but I truly wish this was a task the team could get a jumpstart on. Leaving Brian Cashman in charge this off-season, especially when Aaron Boone is likely to receive the ax, will not do any good for this team. Boone’s replacement will be another Cashman puppet that will follow the analytics.
Anyways, back to the game. I’m glad to see Rortvedt have a couple of hits, but I was not glad to see that they were the only two Yankee hits. The Yankees walked six times and left every runner on base, this was in addition to Anthony Volpe being hit by a pitch. It’s just ridiculously hard baseball to watch at this point, and who knows when the streak will come to an end. At this point, that’s really all I care about - ending the streak.
It’s not looking promising with who the Yankees will send to the mound tonight, but I’m going to remain optimistic that something good does come out of it.
The Yankees will face the Nationals for the second game of the three-game series tonight in hopes of avoiding a 10-game losing streak. MacKenzie Gore is scheduled to start for the Nationals, while Luis Severino is scheduled to start for the Yankees. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Yankee Stadium.