Yanks Come from Behind Twice to Beat Nats! 4 Reasons Why NY Won 4-3 in 11 innings

In a game that lasted all day, the Yankees came from behind twice to beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 in 11 innings. Afterwards, you felt like you had watched two different games in an epic opera that consumed the afternoon.

The first game was a pitchers duel between two pitchers with 5 Cy Young Awards between them — Corey Kluber vs Max Scherzer. The second was a wacky COVID-rules back-and-forth extra inning affair. And before all of that, a 2.25 hour rain delay that had the game start at 3:30 pm. It ended at 7:15 pm, on a cold, unexpectedly rainy Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

After the rain cleared and the game was over:

  • The Yankees beat the Washington to even the series.
  • The Yankees got back over .500 at 17-16.
  • Kluber looked great again.
  • Aaron Judge had broken out of his week-long slump, getting a key hit in the 9th and key walk in the 11th.
  • Gleyber Torres got two big, clutch hits — to tie the game in the 9th and win the game in the 11th.
  • Chad Green tossed 1.1 innings of shutout ball — shaking off Thursday night’s poor outing.
  • Lucas Luetge looked great again with 2 shutout innings.
  • Justin Wilson pitched great in relief, which was a relief to the Yankees.

1. Pitchers Duel Between All-Time Greats

It started out as a Game of Waiting. Waiting to find out when the game would start. The weather forecast predicted a cloudy day. But isolated storm fronts rolled in and rained, rained, rained on Yankee Stadium — pushing back the game to an unknown time. Finally at 2:45 pm word came across the wire that the game would start at 3:30 pm.

When it finally started, Kluber and Scherzer did not disappoint those waiting to see the classic pitcher’s duel between the two All Time Great pitchers — Scherzer with his 3 Cy Youngs vs Kluber with his 2 Cy Youngs.

Washington got to Kluber first in the top of the 3rd:

  1. A one-out single by Alex Avila,
  2. Victor Robles bunted and Mike Ford came out to play the ball, vs covering 1st — Kluber went to field the ball too so there was nobody to throw the ball to at 1st base.
  3. A single by Trea Turner loaded the bases;
  4. A groundball — force out at home made it 2 outs, and then,
  5. Kluber walked Juan Soto for the first run of the game.

That run looked like it could be ballgame — because Scherzer looked unhittable — striking out everyone. But Kyle Higashioka got the run right back for the Yankees with a homerun in the bottom of the 3rd.

That would be the one mistake Scherzer made all afternoon — he motored thru the Yankee lineup into the 8th — 7.1 innings, 2 hits allowed, 14 strikeouts — setting a record for strikeouts for a visiting pitcher at Yankee Stadium.

The duel stayed 1-1 into the top of the 6th, when Kluber blinked again — a 2-out double by Kyle Schwarber and then a single by Starlin Castro made it 2-1 Washington. With Kluber at 101 pitches he was gone — replaced by Chad Green who got the final out.

2. Gleyber Ties It

Chad Green pitched a shutout 7th and Lucas Luetge a shutout 8th and 9th, getting the Yanks to the bottom of the 9th still trailing 2-1.

Washington brought in their ace reliever Brad Hand — who famously blew the save in the deciding game of the playoff series between the Yankees and Cleveland last Fall. DJ LeMahieu lead off by working a walk, and Giancarlo Stanton grounded out to 3rd, which moved LeMahieu to scoring position at 2nd.

Aaron Judge took a ball and then hit a blooper into opposite right field for a single — but LeMahieu had to stop at 3rd — he couldn’t get a good jump not knowing if the ball would be caught or not.

With 1st and 3rd, 1 out — Gleyber Torres got a HUGE base hit to tie the score.

3. Ford Ties It

It was on to crazy COVID extra innings, where a team puts a runner on 2nd to lead off the inning (the guy who made last out).

Washington plated their runner in the top of the 9th off Aroldis Chapman (single by Victor Robles, Sac Fly by Trea Turner) and Yankee Twitter was complaining about the dumb extra inning rule.

But in the bottom of the 10th, Mike Ford, who has a lot of confidence as a hitter but is batting .086 this year and whose Major League career is hanging by a thread — led off with a single to tie the game 3-3.

4. Gleyber Wins It

Justin Wilson came on — and he’s been awful this year. So Yankee fans were expecting the worst but he blew thru the top of the 11th no problem — striking out Bell, getting Schwarber on a fly, and striking out Castro.

In the bottom of the 11th, Washington brought in Tanner Rainey. He walked Stanton, and then walked Aaron Judge to load the bases with nobody out. Gleyber Torres then hit a little quibler to 3rd that nobody could get to in time to make a play at home as DJ LeMahieu crossed the plate for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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