HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13: James Paxton #65 of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout after pitching during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 13, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

James Paxton couldn’t even get out of the first inning as the New York Yankees fell to the Washington Nationals in a 9-2 route.

  • Washington Nationals 9 (1-1)
  • New York Yankees 2 (1-1)
  • Interleague, Final, Box Score
  • Nationals Park, Washington, DC

The New York Yankees just couldn’t get it right on Saturday evening in a 9-2 loss to the Washington Nationals.

James Paxton never had his fastball velocity, topping out at 94 mph. Victor Robles had three hits, including a two-run home run off the foul pole, and finished a triple short of the cycle.

It all went downhill in the second inning. Paxton, who breezed through the first inning on 15 pitches, allowed three straight singles. Robles followed with a two-run double, and Michael A. Taylor walked to load the bases before Paxton was relieved by Mike King.

The Nationals were up 3-0 before the Yankees made it close. DJ LeMahieu laced an RBI single to center, and Giancarlo Stanton hit another mammoth home run to make it 3-2. Statcast measured it at an estimated 483 feet.

The New York Yankees did all they could to keep it close, but Robles’ two-run laser off the foul pole made it 5-2 in the fourth inning. Doubles by Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera tacked on two more runs in the fifth. Cabrera and Taylor later added solo shots of their own.

New York, meanwhile, just wasted opportunities and went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position despite four Washington errors. They couldn’t solve Nationals righty Erick Fredde, who pitched four innings in place of an injured  Stephen Strasburg.

Next on the docket

The New York Yankees will go for the series win on Sunday when they send an opener to the mound. Washington counters with lefty Patrick Corbin, with the rubber game’s first pitch slated for 1 p.m. ET on the YES Network.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.