Brad Mills/US Presswire
Mark Teixeira had the game-winning hit for the Yankees in the 14th inning against the Nationals.For the first time this season, the New York Yankees failed to live up to their moniker – the Bronx Bombers – and still won a game, beating the Washington Nationals 5-3 in 14 innings.
Prior to Saturday, the Yankees were 0-12 when not hitting a home run, which was the longest streak of losses in games without a homer to begin a season in franchise history.
The last MLB team to start a season with such a streak was the 2003 Diamondbacks, who lost their first 12 games when they didn’t hit a homer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Mark Teixeira provided the game-winning hit with a two-run double in the top of the 14th inning to give the Yankees the victory in the longest Interleague game in team history. The Yankees have now won eight straight and are an MLB-best 9-2 in Interleague play this season.
Andy Pettitte made his first start at age 40 (his birthday was yesterday), becoming the first Yankee to play a game both before age 23 and after age 40, according to Elias. Pettitte threw seven innings of two-run ball to lower his ERA to 2.77, which would be his best in any of his seasons in pinstripes.
Bryce Harper vs Sliders This Season
On the other side of the dugout, Bryce Harper had arguably the worst day in his young major-league career.
He went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts, becoming the first teenager to strike out five times in a game since strikeouts were first recorded in the NL in 1910 and the AL in 1913.
The Yankees exploited his weaknesses against breaking pitches, throwing him 19 sliders, the most seen by any player this season. Five of his seven outs made came in at-bats ending in a slider, including four strikeouts. He also missed on nine of his 10 swings against a slider, and chased six of 11 sliders thrown outside the strike zone.
ON A CLIFF: WINLESS IN PHILLY
The Philadelphia Phillies continued their slide, with their 11th loss in their last 14 games after falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 on a walk-off double by Rajai Davis in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Lowest ERA by Pitcher with 0 Wins
Thru 1st 11 Starts of Season*
The Phillies now have eight walk-off losses this season, the most of any major-league team. Jonathan Papelbon, the owner of the biggest contract for a relief pitcher in major-league history, has not pitched in any of those losses.
Cliff Lee had allowed just two runs through seven innings and appeared poised for his first win of the season. But he imploded in the eighth inning, failing to record an out while allowing all three of his batters faced to reach base, and was charged with three runs in the inning.
Lee now is winless in his first 11 starts of the season despite a 3.48 ERA. According to Elias, his ERA is the second-lowest of any pitcher to begin a season with zero wins in his first 11 appearances – all of them starts – since earned runs became official in the NL in 1912 and in the AL in 1913.