NATIONALS 3, YANKEES 0
Get your old high school glove out and start tossing 80-mile-per-hour fastballs in the backyard. Within a few weeks you should be ready to toe the rubber in a major-league game and beat the New York Yankees.
As evidenced what the Washington Nationals did in Yankee Stadium the past three nights, even you can beat the 2009 Yankees.
Just throw strikes and the Yankees will either (a) watch it nestle into the catcher’s glove for strike three (b) flail at it miserably and miss or (c) ground into harmless outs. Even if a Yankee batter should reach base, fear not, the ones who won’t follow suit.
The Nationals combination of Shairon Martis, John Lannan and Thursday’s winner Craig Stammen combined for 20 2/3 innings pitched, gave up a paltry 14 hits, 3 earned runs, walked six and struck out seven. That is an ERA of 1.31 and a Walks/Hits by Innings Pitched (WHIP) of .097.
This from a team that landed in the Big Apple with a record of 16-45, the worst in the major leagues. They left with two victories and near win against the heavily bankrolled Bronx Bombers.
What is going on here?
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Girardi said to MLB.com. “I think the more we talk about it, the more people think about it. The bottom line is we have accomplished hitters. You’ve got to look for a good pitch and put a good pass on it. If you do those things, usually good things are going to happen.”
Well, nothing left for the Yankees to do but dust off their cobwebbed bats and take them to Miami for a series with the Marlins. Great, another team with young pitchers the Yankees have not seen.
Tonight Andy Pettitte (6-3, 4.52 ERA) faces Marlins lefty Sean West (2-1, 3.00 ERA). West just turned 24 on Monday and is coming off a victory over the Blue Jays in his last outing, despite the fact it was the worst of his five major-league starts.
Of course, with the way the Yankees hitters having been going in June, he could have awful stuff and still no-hit them for at least six innings.
Girardi may not want to talk about it but unless the Yankees begin pounding young inexperienced starters as they used to or this team is not going anywhere in the American League East.
You got your armed warmed up enough? Well, give it a shot. Alex Rodriguez should be no problem at all for you to retire.