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Yankees 4, Nationals 5: Sonny Gray stumbles as Juan Soto stuns New York

This is one game to forget.

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Washington Nationals v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This was a frustrating game. The offense showed up, but the Yankees lost to a one-man wrecking crew. It was a slog the whole way through, and I’m just happy it’s over. The Bombers dropped this one to the Nationals by a score of 5 - 4.

Tonight’s outing will do little to dispel the narrative that Sonny Gray can’t pitch in New York. He struggled right out the gate, allowing the Nationals to put up a run in the first inning. That happens sometimes, even to the best pitchers. The difference here is that Gray labored. It took him over 30 pitches to record three outs.

For a little while it looked like the right-hander would rebound and have a strong start. A couple of well timed pickoffs — one in the second and another in the third inning — seemed to give him a boost. Then came the fourth inning and it all unraveled.

Gray quickly picked up a pair of outs to start the frame. Then he issued a walk to Daniel Murphy and allowed a single to Matt Adams. With two on and two outs, wunderkind Juan Soto launched a three-run homer to give the Nationals a 4 - 3 lead. That wouldn’t be the last the Bombers heard from Soto.

All told, Gray allowed four runs over five innings. His struggles at Yankee Stadium persisted. He also saw his season ERA climb to 4.98 (4.81 FIP). Love Sonny on the road. Ever the optimist, I expect him to break out eventually. Tonight’s start was hard to watch though.

The bullpen did its job for the most part, save for another run in from Soto. The 19-year-old took Chasen Shreve deep for a monster home run in the seventh inning. It was a blast that caught everyone’s attention, and gave Washington a 5 - 4 lead.

The Yankees offense did its part to keep the game close, but it wasn’t enough to steal a win. The team pounced rookie starter Erick Fedde in the first inning, tagging him for a quick run to tie the game. Then Greg Bird, newly dropped to the bottom of the order, cracked a home run in the second inning. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton combined for a run in the third, before Gleyber Torres briefly tied the game with a fifth inning solo home run. The Bombers had their share of offense, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Soto led Nats.

Up next, the Rays visit Yankee Stadium. Blake Snell will square off against Domingo German tomorrow night. If you’re in the New York area and want to attend, let StubHub be your ticket in. You can purchase yours by clicking here.