Bryce Harper declined to talk to reporters after his 0-for-7, five-strikeout performance.
It was a rough day for the rookie, almost certainly the roughest of his brief major league career.
It was also a rough day for reliever Brad Lidge, who has been stuck with two really poor stat lines so far in this series.
Last night, Lidge allowed three runs over one-third of an inning after giving up one hit and two walks (one of which was intentional). He was on the mound when the game got away from the Nationals in the Yankees’ four-run seventh inning. Today, Lidge was on the mound when the Yanks took the lead in the 14th inning.
His stat line today: two-thirds of an inning, two runs, three hits and a walk (which was intentional). Over these two days, Lidge’s ERA has jumped from 5.40 to 9.64.
“It’s tough,” Lidge said. “I’m in a bit of bad luck right now where they’re kind of hitting them where they ain’t. They’re the ground balls you want, but they’re hit perfectly between guys. It’s tough, but you just try to do the best you can to get out of it. The only thing I didn’t want to do tonight was walk anybody in that situation and let them move up the bases. But they did a good job.”
Yesterday, Lidge got a bad break when he got what looked like a double play ball off the bat, only to see it turn into an infield single and a throwing error on Ian Desmond. Two runs came around on that play.
Today, Lidge allowed another infield single, this one to Jayson Nix leading off the 14th. Nix then stole second, and Derek Jeter singled through the hole on the left side. Lidge responded by striking out Curtis Granderson for the first out, but he left a slider a little up to Mark Teixeira, and the first baseman made him pay, ripping a two-run double down the line in right.
“I thought after we got Granderson, I thought we had a good chance,” manager Davey Johnson said. “(Lidge has) had a lot of success against Teixeira and just threw a breaking ball. Not a whole lot on it. And pretty much the ballgame.”
Lidge added, “I think it was a 2-1 count, and I wanted to throw it for a strike, a back-door strike. He did a good job. I think he was probably sitting on it and hit it well. But it was one of those games where I didn’t want to walk anybody, and they did a good job staying on that pitch.”
Lidge’s stuff hasn’t been terrible lately, and he hasn’t been giving up a ton of hard-hit balls. He just isn’t getting the breaks right now and has back-to-back days of inflated numbers to prove it.
“It’s frustrating,” Lidge said. “I’m making some good pitches, and they’re not hitting them well. They’re just finding spots where a lot of times they’re not even getting to the outfield, they’re infield hits. It is frustrating when something like that happens, but you just try to grind through it. Just keep throwing good pitches, quality pitches and at some point those balls will get to people, and we’ll make outs.
“But until then, you’ve just got to battle and keep throwing strikes.”