Late Wednesday afternoon, longtime general manager Brian Cashman described the season as a disaster for the New York Yankees.
A few hours later, Aaron Judge hit three homers for the first time in his career and the Yankees finally broke a nine-game losing streak.
“It’s been a disaster this season. Yes, definitely a shock,” Cashman said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re embarrassed by it.”
The Yankees will head into the series finale four games under .500 after rolling to a 9-1 victory on Wednesday. Judge hit a solo homer in the first inning, a grand slam in the second and another solo shot in the seventh.
“He’s just a special player,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of his captain, who missed eight weeks due to a torn ligament in his right big toe. “It’s pretty remarkable what he does under any circumstance.”
DJ LeMahieu also homered on Wednesday for the Yankees, who have 36 games to avoid their first losing season since going 76-86 in 1992 during manager Buck Showalter’s first season.
Washington hopes to bounce back from its worst showing in recent weeks, as it committed a pair of errors in New York’s five-run second. The Nationals were held to three hits and were nearly shut out for the sixth time, getting just a Dominic Smith homer in the ninth.
“We knew coming in (that Yankees starter Luis Severino is) going to be tough, and we know the Yankees are going to be tough,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said postgame. “We really do. We got a chance to come back tomorrow, win a series and leave here with two wins, which would be great.”
Washington will make that effort without Stone Garrett after the right fielder sustained a left leg injury crashing into the fence attempting to catch LeMahieu’s homer. The Nationals were still awaiting the results of an X-ray and an MRI exam.
Patrick Corbin (8-11, 4.71 ERA), who is 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA in his past four starts, will get the ball for the Nationals. Corbin got the win in his latest outing when he allowed one run and four hits in six innings during Washington’s 10-7 home win over the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 17.
Besides his unbeaten streak, Corbin is 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA in nine starts since losing four straight outings from June 7-23.
Corbin, who visited the Yankees in free agency following the 2018 season, has three no-decisions and a 2.33 ERA in three career starts against New York. He last faced the Yankees on May 7, 2021, in New York, when he allowed three runs in six innings during Washington’s 11-4 victory.
New York’s Michael King (3-5, 3.26 ERA) will make his second start of the season and 12th of his career. King, who is still being stretched out, last started Aug. 12 in Miami, when he allowed two runs and four hits while throwing 41 pitches in two innings.
As a starting pitcher in his career, King is 0-6 with a 6.64 ERA. He has no decisions and a 7.71 ERA in two lifetime relief appearances against the Nationals.
—Field Level Media
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