I woke up this morning, like much of Florida did, to overcast and/or rainy skies. I knew the Yankees were on the road today, and a quick look at the forecast for the Space Coast told me it was not looking positive for outdoor baseball. In fact, many of the minor league games in the Tampa area were canceled due to the weather, meaning that the guys who stayed behind to work out (mainly Rodriguez and Beltran) were forced to Steinbrenner’s indoor facilities.
But despite a few moments of drizzle during the game, the show apparently must go on. And on it did across the state from Tampa in Viera (between Cape Canaveral and Melbourne on the Atlantic coast) against the Nationals. Having the home field advantage, the Nats brought out their big guns both on the mound and in the batter’s box, which meant that most of today’s game was a bit of back-and-forth on the scoreboard.
The Yankees struck first offensively in the 3rd inning beginning with Refsnyder’s lead-off double. Refsnyder moved to 3rd on a ground out and then scored on another ground out. Chris Young got plunked on the back of the knee and quickly scored with a really solid (and wind-free) 2-run home run clear over the right field fence. By the end of the 3rd inning, the Yankees were up 3-0.
Bryan Mitchell got the start for the Yankees today, going 3.1 innings, giving up 4 hits, 2 runs, and 3 walks. Those runs were scored at the end of Mitchell’s tenure today, with 2 singles that converted into runs once reliever Chasen Shreve came on and gave up a 2-RBI single (by the Nats pitcher, nonetheless). Shreve was quickly replaced by Jose Ramirez, who quickly gave up a single and 2-RBI double to push the Nats up and over the Yankees 4-3.
Like I said, it was back-and-forth because it was Young’s lead-off solo home run in the 5th that tied up the game. And it would be Young’s 2-run home run (scoring a walked Refsnyder) that put the Yankees back in the lead in the 6th inning. (By the way, Young scored 3 of the Yankee’s 6 total runs in this game.)
And so it was back to the Nats to score in the 7th inning as reliever Kyle Davies was on the mound. A walk and a single had runners on the corners. An attempted pick-off went awry with a missed catch and scored a run. Back-to-back doubles ended up pushing the score up 7-6 for the Nats over the Yankees.
Unfortunately, the Yankees just weren’t hitting any further, giving up the back-and-forth game for a regular pitching-and-defense combo. But then again, neither were the Nationals.
Final score from the Space Coast: 7-6 Nationals.
On a side note… the Nationals are running a campaign to get the All-Star Game to D.C. for the 2018 ASG. And while I cannot imagine the nightmare that would create as far as security (as they play just a stone’s throw from the Capitol), it would be rather cool to see the Red Carpet Parade as it passes by The Mall and its famous adornments (Washington Monument, Smithsonian, Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, etc.). It’s an idea to say the least, but I guess in my heart, there’s only one perfect stadium for such events.
I think you can figure out which one by now…