There was a lot going on at the stadium tonight. It wasn’t just Star Wars Day, but also the first home game against Houston with fans in the stands since the sign-theft scandal erupted. Tonight’s victory was, I’m sure, a cathartic experience for many lucky participants, as boos and taunts rained down from the bleachers. And despite a bantha performance from Domingo Germán, a combination of plateau discipline, another dominant performance from the bullpen and a bit of luck pushed the Yankees offense to a 7-3 victory.
Germán, took the mound, hoping his solo act could spur the Yankees to victory. Unfortunately, he pitched more like Greedo, blowing himself up in the first act, thanks to a solo home run from Alex Bregman in the first inning to spot the Astros an early lead. Better not to pitch this pitch to a man who once finished second for AL MVP:
Fortunately, the Yankees had an immediate response to this assault from the rebel scum. DJ LeMahieu started off with a single that ricocheted off Zack Greinke’s foot and into the center field. Giancarlo Stanton followed by tossing a suspended 2-0 curve ball into hyperspace. The two-run circuit left its bat at 106.3 mph and landed 367 feet in the left seats, giving the home team a 2-1 lead.
After that, it was an Imperial March of the Yankee baserunners, as Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Gleyber Torres all reached the base to charge them up. Sadly, the Yankees were unable to deliver the decisive blow, as Clint Frazier sank into a double play to push just one more run.
Yankees fans have proven that the only person they’ll boo harder than a cheating opponent is one of their own players because they really let a brawl Aaron Hicks hear it when he collapsed to put end the first inning threat and keep the Astros in the game. Right now it looks like Hicks would have a better chance of escaping the Sarlacc than his current slump, but there may be new hope in the game. horizon – something I will have later this week.
Germán righted the ship in the second – based on his own performance – as he pulled camp in order, including strikeouts from Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker. LeMahieu’s march was the only action of the half-time, as it looked like Greinke had turned his targeting computer back on.
As soon as Germán regained his command in the second, he immediately lost it again in the third, serving up a huge solo shot that Michael Brantley lifted in the executive-level suites on the right. Yordan Alvarez then picked the middle and Gurriel missed a two-run home run to the left by about two inches as the ball bounced off the top of the padding. Alvarez scored on the play, and despite Germán escaping the inning tied 3-3, I had a bad feeling about it – whether the Yankees would continue to drag him there for more work, of course.
Germán’s pitches were generally painful throughout his outing – he often missed the heart of the plateau and was punished accordingly. Aside from that clean second run, he looked worse than Luke after escaping from the trash compactor.
I tried not to get prematurely excited by his two previous starts against Cleveland and the Orioles. It’s one thing to limit points against two of the worst offenses in the league; It’s another to be successful while constantly missing spots against playoff-caliber lineups. His final row in the evening: five innings, four hits, three runs (including a pair of long balls), one walk, six strikeouts and 83 pitches.
Greinke was surprisingly shot after 4 innings and just 85 throws, as it looked like he had settled in after that first jerk. Brandon Bielak came in relief and delivered his first hit in the bottom of the fifth: a double ion beam, 117.4 mph off Stanton’s bat.
Lucas Luetge came in for the sixth, and after a single with a Bregman out, induced a ground ball which led to one of the prettiest defensive plays you’ll see this year. Torres hooked it up with a sliding play in the middle and returned to Urshela in the second, who spun and shot a ball in the first to complete the double play.
The Yankees charged down the bottom sixth goal via a Torres walk, a single Hicks and a Rougned Odor walk, bringing LeMahieu to home plate with two outs. On a 0-2 pitch, he nibbled a single in the field on the third baseline.
Bregman tried to shoot him down early, but the pitch was wide of Gurriel, allowing Higashioka and Odor to score. There was a violent collision at home plate, when Odor’s knee collided with Martín Maldonado’s face, leaving both players in visible pain at home plate.
Odor had to be helped off the pitch while Maldonado left on his own. Fortunately, Odor could be seen standing in the canoe afterwards, and we hope that is nothing serious.
* The Yankees ad Towards the end of the match Odor had a left knee injury and would be having an MRI later that evening.
The home plate saw LeMahieu move up to second place, and he was picked at home by Stanton on Big G’s third shot of the night. The judge retired to complete the set, but not without the Yankees securing a 7-3 lead. Tyler Wade replaced Odor in second place while Jason Castro replaced Maldonado behind the dish for Houston.
Stanton harvested his fourth shot of the night in the eighth, a blistered 109.9 mph line-up through left center. The Yankees threatened to become a full-fledged Star Destroyer against the Astros, as Judge and Gio picked and marched to charge Torres’ bases. It would have been the perfect time for him to eliminate the goose egg in the home run column, but alas, a ball on the ground ended the set and kept the score at 7-3 towards the ninth.
Chad Green got the last three strikeouts of the game, as the Yankees moved above .500 for the first time since April 6. There was a lot to like about this game’s offensive performance (nine draws), and the Yankees box did its normal job. It was also encouraging to see them clinch a victory over a potential opponent in the playoffs.
Tomorrow, Jordan Montgomery will face Luis Garcia. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET, so join us in the discussion thread. For now, it’s good night, and may the force be with you!
The score of the box