Rapid Reaction: Yankees 7, Nationals 2

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:07
PM ET
Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: Both the AL East-leading Yankees and the NL East-leading Nationals came in riding six-game winning streaks, but somebody's 0 had to go, and tonight it was the Nats', thanks to some unusually timely hitting by the Yankees and some unusually sloppy play by the Nationals.

That's why they call them the Bronx Bombers: The Yankees were one out away from achieving something they had yet to do this season, win a game without hitting a home run, but they just can't help themselves. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Curtis Granderson relocated a Tom Gorzelanny pitch to the Nationals' bullpen to account for the Yankees' final run.

Grandy's Dandy: Not only did Granderson bust the game open with an opposite-field double that drove in the fifth and sixth Yankees runs, plus hit the home run that kept The Streak alive, he also ran down Adam LaRoche's sixth-inning blast to dead center, hitting the wall just after making the catch.

Throwin' Philth: Phil Hughes was a K machine tonight, equaling his season high in strikeouts -- eight -- in the first 5 2/3 innings and finishing with nine in six innings, in which he allowed just one run and six hits before being lifted for pinch-hitter Robinson Cano. But the biggest out(s) Hughes got came in the third inning, when with the bases loaded and one out, he persuaded Ian Desmond to rap into an inning-ending double play. And Hughes finally got through a game without allowing a homer.

I got off the couch for this? Cano's day off ended when he was called upon to hit for Hughes, but Nats manager Davey Johnson had reliever Brad Lidge walk him to load the bases in front of Derek Jeter, who singled in a run and went to second on a throwing error that resulted in another Yankees run.

First to 40: That would be Nick Swisher, whose third-inning single knocked in Mark Teixeira for his team-leading 40th RBI, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Alex Rodriguez, on first after his own RBI single, tried to go to third on the play and was caught in a rundown for the final out of the inning.

First Lou, now Jimmie: Quite a week for A-Rod, who caught Lou Gehrig on the all-time grand slam list Tuesday in Atlanta, and Jimmie Foxx on the all-time RBI list in the third inning tonight. A-Rod's single scored Jeter and gave him 1,924 career RBIs, good for a share of sixth place on the list. Next up: Stan Musial with 1,951.

The fix was in: Teddy Roosevelt was on the verge of winning the Presidents Race, run every game here between the Mount Rushmore Four, until he was intercepted just before the finish line by someone in a giant lobster outfit. And, of course, George Washington won. Again. Well, it is his town. Might've been different in Oyster Bay. I'll be taking this up with the Chamber of Commerce.

Tomorrow: Friday's birthday boy, Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.81), makes his first start as a 40-year-old, facing RHP Jordan Zimmerman (3-5, 2.91) in the middle game of the series, first pitch at 1:05 p.m.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.285 8 47 48
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 61
OPSM. Teixeira .773
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135