The Yankees and Nationals each entered last night's game having won six in a row, which assured that only one team would emerge with their streak intact. Thanks to another strong outing by the resurgent Phil Hughes, it was the Bronx Bombers who continued their winning ways. On a personal note, Hughes managed to snap one streak he could have lived without. For the first time all season, the right hander did not allow a home run. Hughes' stretch of 12 consecutive games as a home run victim was the 15th longest since 1918, second longest in franchise history (Dennis Rasmussen, 14 in 1986) and second longest to begin a season (Bert Blyleven, 14 in 1987).
A sidebar to the series opener was Bryce Harper debut against the team for which he grew up rooting. It wasn't a particularly impressive evening for the rookie, but after the game, the 19-year old and several Yankees' veterans expressed mutual admiration.
The Nationals are not descendants of the original Washington Senators, but the Yankees visit to the nation's capitol still evokes memories of the one pennant race in which the two teams battled for the American League crown.
The Chicago Cubs are expected to hold a fire sale before the trade deadline, and Ryan Dempster will likely be chief among the players who are sent packing. According to some reports, the Yankees are one of the many teams who might be interested in the right hander, but after his shutout performance against them yesterday afternoon, the Red Sox might be higher on the list of suitors.
The Mets recently received some flak for appealing an official scorer’s ruling, which, if overturned, would have retroactively granted R.A. Dickey a no-hitter. Although the appeal was denied, several players, such as Robinson Cano, have been taking advantage of the new process to get a second opinion for questionable decisions by the official scorer.
The Yankees signed second round pick Austin Aune, but needed to nearly double the slot recommendation in order to do it. Aune, a two-sport athlete, was planning to play baseball and football at Texas Christian.