The New York Yankees are in the midst of their longest losing streak in more than 40 years. One more loss and they'll be somewhere they haven't been since before they called the Bronx home.
In that time, New York has gone from four games over .500 to five game under — getting outscored 53-21 along the way. The Yankees lost 2-1 to Washington on Tuesday night, with Ben Rortvedt homering and collecting both of the club's two hits.
"Every loss really stinks at this point," Rortvedt said. "Obviously you guys (media) ask this every night; it doesn't get easier at all. We really have to come in to prepare to turn this around. Every day's a new opportunity to really go out there and flip a switch."
This is the Yankees' first nine-game skid since 1982. The last time New York lost 10 straight was during an 11-game skid in 1913, the first season the club played as the Yankees and 10 years before it moved from the Polo Grounds to the original Yankee Stadium.
"Pretty down but we got to fight through it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after his team also dropped to 12-27 since July 4. "I think we're doing and saying the right things but we're in it to win it. At the end of the day, you work hard to put yourself in a position to shake hands at the end of the day. When you get beat over and over again and you're in the middle of a tough season, it makes it hard."
The Nationals, on the other hand, have won seven of their last nine series and are looking to make it eight of 10. CJ Abrams' eighth-inning home run on Tuesday gave the Nationals their 13th win in 18 games and pushed them to 22-14 since the All-Star break.
Tuesday not only saw Washington improve to 7-1 in one-run games this month, but also saw the club sign manager Dave Martinez to a two-year contract extension.
"We've got a lot in store," Abrams said. "We're a young team, we're coming together. And we've got Davey for another two years, right? We're going to make things happen."
Luis Severino (2-8, 7.98 ERA), who is enduring the worst stretch of his eight-year career, starts for the Yankees. Since pitching six innings against Texas on June, the right-hander is 1-6 with an 11.08 ERA over eight outings (seven starts).
That includes four straight appearances allowing at least five earned runs, a two-inning relief appearance in which he surrendered four runs on Aug. 9, and a four-inning outing in his most recent start on Aug. 15, during which he gave up five runs (three earned) in a 4-0 loss at Atlanta.
Severino is facing the Nationals for the first time but is 8-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 21 career appearances (19 starts) against National League opponents.
MacKenzie Gore (6-9, 4.38) goes for the Nationals on the heels of his best outing of the season. Last Wednesday, the left-hander held Boston to one hit with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 scoreless innings of work in a 6-2 win.
Gore is facing the Yankees for the first time. He is 0-1 with a 2.27 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against interleague opponents.
—Field Level Media