That was almost the worst lost of the season. Almost. Instead, it turned into a pretty satisfying 9-6 win over the first place Astros. The Yankees have won three of their last four games. It’s Saturday, so I’m going with bullet points:
- Homer-oltzer: First inning grand slams are just the best. Brian McCann smashed one of those into the second deck to give the Yankees a quick 4-0 lead, long after it was apparent Astros lefty Brett Oberholtzer had nothing. Chris Young followed with a two-run shot in the second to make it 6-0. Then Oberholtzer got frustrated, threw at Alex Rodriguez, and was ejected from the game. He just walked off the field after the ejection. No argument. Small time.
- Blown Lead: The 6-0 lead disappeared rather quickly. The Astros scored two runs in the second — whatever, they can hit, two runs are gonna happen — and then they scored the other four runs in the span of five batters. Chris Carter launched a solo homer in the fourth, Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Jose Altuve followed that with a solo homer to tie things up. Deflating! Masahiro Tanaka allowed six runs in five innings for his second straight bad outing. He insists he’s healthy. Either way, his location is garbage. Too many pitches up in the zone.
- Oppo Pop: The Yankees blew prime scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings, because of course, but they capitalized in the eighth. The rally started with a Brett Gardner leadoff walk, continued with Young’s fielder’s choice — Altuve didn’t touch second base when attempting the double play pivot, so no out was recorded on the play — and was capped off by Mark Teixeira’s mammoth opposite field double off the wall. He’s so strong. Teixeira flicked his wrists and hammered Pat Neshek’s outside heater off the wall. Crazy. Two runs scored. Chase Headley hit a monster solo homer for an insurance run in the ninth.
- Saved By The Bullpen: Seven strikeouts in four scoreless innings for the bullpen. Bryan Mitchell tossed a scoreless sixth, was bailed out by Chasen Shreve in the seventh, then Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances nailed things down in the eighth and ninth. Both allowed a base-runner, but no big deal. Shreve struck out Jon Singleton with the bases loaded to end the seventh. He’s been so, so good. Shreve’s excellent.
- Leftovers: Gardner went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a walk. He’s hitting .300/.371/.494 (140 wRC+) on the season. Only Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, and Jose Bautista have a higher wRC+ among AL outfielders … McCann and Didi Gregorius each had two hits. A-Rod and Carlos Beltran each drew two walks … the Yankees had seven walks and four strikeouts as a team. It’s their eighth game with more walks than strikeouts. Only the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Red Sox have more … the Yankees scored 9+ runs for the tenth time this season. They did it nine times all of last year.
Here’s the box score, video highlights, updated standings, Bullpen Workload, and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Astros will wrap up their four-game series on Sunday afternoon. Michael Pineda and Collin McHugh will be the pitching matchup.