TAMPA, Fla. - The Nationals and Yankees needed an extra frame to settle things today, and the pinstripes earned a 4-3 walk-off win when catcher J.R. Murphy drove in former Nat Justin Maxwell with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th.
Atahualpa Severino gave up the game-winning run. And the excitement was palpable at George Stenibrenner Field.
Kidding. There were a couple handshakes and that was about it.
Nats catcher Jesus Flores appeared to get hit by a foul ball in the one place no man wants to get hit by a foul ball today, but it turns out he was merely struck on the inner leg.
Flores’ fellow catcher, Wilson Ramos, served as the Nats’ DH today in his first game back after suffering a heel injury, but he says he isn’t feeling any pain or soreness and expects to be back behind the plate tomorrow when the Nats take on the Marlins.
Bryce Harper went 1-for-4 today, leaving his spring training average at .300. The outfielder - who played center today - struck out twice, grounded out to third and laced a single off the glove of first baseman Brandon Laird.
Harper faced some high-quality pitching today, getting his at-bats off CC Sabathia, Rafael Soriano, Phil Hughes and lefty Cesar Cabral.
“They’re kind of pitching him tough, too,” manager Davey Johnson said. “Spring training, 3-2 breaking balls? Not really giving him much to hit with the fastball. So all that stuff you’ve been writing about him, maybe the pitchers (have) been reading it.”
Craig Stammen allowed a monster two-run homer off the bat of Alex Rodriguez in the fifth, but he got out of a two-on, one-out jam he inherited from Gio Gonzalez in the fourth with back-to-back strikeouts, and finished the day with four Ks in 2 2/3 innings.
The righty, who has a shot at a bullpen spot with the Nats but is likely ticketed for the starting rotation at Triple-A Syracuse, has now worked 7 2/3 innings this spring, allowing just the two runs he gave up today and striking out 10 with just one walk.
Those are the type of numbers that will make a manager notice you.
“He can pitch. I like him,” Johnson said. “He won us some ballgames last year in September. Two ballgames he really did good down the stretch. (Tom) Gorzelanny and him, they were outstanding. Two guys fighting for that spot, too. So - we shall see.”