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Op-Ed: Yankees beat Nationals in 14 innings, 5-3 Special

By Leigh Goessl     Jun 17, 2012 in Sports
Washington - In a sold-out park at Nationals stadium, Saturday's game went enough innings to almost equate to a doubleheader. The game took 14 innings, with the Yankees coming out on on top.
It was bound to be an exciting game, with a sell out crowd of 41,287.
The first inning was three up, three down for both teams. The second inning didn't show much for the Yanks, but when it was the Nats' turn at bat, Michael Morse singled and Tyler Moore was walked.
Nats' catcher Jesus Flores got things moving with a double that scored Morse and Moore, making it a 2-0 game in the Nats' favor.
In the fourth inning Robinson Cano, 2nd baseman for the Yankees, was walked and right-fielder Nick Swisher hit a single. Nats' shortshop Ian Desmond made an error, allowing Eric Chavez safe on first, with Swisher scoring, putting the Yanks on the board.
In the sixth inning the Yankees scored two more runs and took the lead 3-2. Neither team scored again until the eighth inning when Desmond hit a solo homerun, which would turn out to be the only homerun of the day from either team.
ESPN has a play-by-play breakdown by inning, which I took a look at to refresh my memory on the action for each inning (it was a long game!)
The Nationals had a chance to take the lead in the 8th inning, but Moore was called out at the plate when he made the dive for home plate. At the game, it was unclear from where I was sitting, but the replays showed on the stadium monitors did appear as if he was safe.
Fox News reported "Replays appeared to show that Moore's hand slapped the plate just ahead of catcher Russell Martin's tag."
Had the ump called him safe, it would potentially have meant a much shorter game, but he didn't, so as the afternoon passed, fans from both teams had many more innings to go. With a tied 3-3, the teams battled it out for close to five hours.
Then came the 14th inning when the Yankees got two batters on base, and first baseman Mark Teixeira doubled, scoring the two batters, making it a 5-3 game.
A good portion of the spectators had departed the game by this time as it was hours past the first pitch. The game went long enough for the Presidents to make an appearance for a second race.
The Nationals, despite a good fight, didn't score in the bottom of the 14th. Flores got on base again with a hit, and outfielder Steve Lombardozzi singled to center, bringing Flores to second.
The Nats had one last chance at the bottom of the 14th with Bryce Harper, who made some excellent defensive plays yesterday, but had yet to make a hit in the game. He came up to bat with two outs and Lombardozzi and Flores on base.
It wasn't meant to be though, and Harper didn't get the walk-off many fans were likely crossing their fingers to see, instead hitting an infield grounder. The game ended 5-3.
Harper appeared frustrated during the game with his at-bats, and many of the Yankees' fans were in the first level center/right field seats offering lots of heckling comments about his strike-outs as he was on the field. Harper currently has a .289 batting average and has demonstrated since being called up to the majors after the season started, he's got the bat power. It was simply an off-day for the rookie player.
"I thought he probably was really amped up," manager Davey Johnson said, reported Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider. "He came in there against [Andy] Pettitte, and I've never seen him swing at balls out of the zone. He was chasing balls. Got in that mode where (he was) trying to make something happen. That's part of the youth."
The Washington Post reported first baseman Adam LaRoche tried to give Harper some encouragement after the game.
“It’s not the last time you’re going to have a bad game,” LaRoche told him.
“I’ve told him before, if you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of bad games because you’re playing for a long time. I said, ‘Shake it off and hurt them tomorrow'," LaRoche said.
The Yankees have won the first two games of the series, the Nats have one chance left today to avoid a sweep. Game time is 1:35 p.m. ET. At last read, today's game is also pretty much a sellout. Should be a good game as these two first-place teams battle it out.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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