Through six innings, this game was playing out like the pitchers' duel it was on paper. Masahiro Tanaka and Max Scherzer had both allowed just one solo home run and not much else. Then in the seventh, the Yankees strung some hits together, the Nationals made some mistakes and suddenly a close game turned into a decent-sized Yankee lead. And once that happened, the Yankees were able to hold on without too much trouble and came away with a 6-1 win, their seventh straight.
The Yankees' offense struck first when Stephen Drew led off the bottom of the third with a home run, putting the Yankees up 1-0. The lead wouldn't last too long, however. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Bryce Harper did Bryce Harper things and hit a game-tying solo home run.
After that, both pitchers settled down. In the sixth inning, the Yankees missed a chance to take the lead, thanks to a silly mistake. With one out in the inning, Mark Teixeira doubled. Brian McCann then added a single, moving Teixeira to third. Carlos Beltran was up next, and he hit a little blooper towards center. The Nationals' center fielder Michael Taylor appeared to make a sliding/diving sorta catch to make the play, or at least that what it looked like. It was actually ruled that he didn't complete the catch. However, they got the ball in and got McCann at second for a force out. No matter what the ruling was, Teixeira probably had enough time to score either way. However, he held up at third. It became worse when Scherzer got the third out of the inning to escape the jam.
An inning after missing out on a run in the weirdest way, the Yankees got a run in the weirdest way. With one out in the inning, Ramon Flores singled to pick up his second hit of the game. Brett Gardner then added a single, moving Flores into scoring position. Chase Headley would make the second out when he made good contact on a pitch, it just went right to Harper. That brought Alex Rodriguez to the plate. A-Rod grounded one to short. Ian Desmond decided to try to go to third to get Flores out on a force play. However, the throw hit Flores and got past Anthony Rendon. That allowed Flores to score, making it 2-1.
That forced Scherzer out of the game as the Nationals would bring in former Yankee Matt Thornton. He first faced Teixeira, who they decided to intentionally walk. McCann followed that with a single, scoring two more runs. Beltran then added another single. When the dust settled, the Yankees were up 5-1.
Tanaka's day would be done when Dellin Betances came in to pitch the eighth inning. Tanaka went seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits and no walks while striking out six. Betances pitched a easy, 1-2-3 eighth inning. Just one strikeout though, you're slacking a bit there, Dellin.
Drew wasn't involved with the fun in the last inning, but he get involved in the eighth. He led off the inning with his second home run of the day, making it 6-1.
Chasen Shreve was brought in to pitch the ninth for the Yankees. Shreve got two outs, but allowed a double to Harper and walked Clint Robinson. Not wanting to risk it, Girardi brought in Andrew Miller. Wilson Ramos put up a fight against Miller, but he ultimately grounded out to end the game. The Yankees picked up their seventh straight win as they beat the Nationals 6-1. I'd say this has been a pretty fun stretch of baseball.
The Yankees and Nationals will play the second game of this series tomorrow at 1:05 eastern. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for the Yankees.