New York Yankees, welcome to Houston, meet the Astros and Dallas Keuchel, and boom, you just got shut out! That’s how I will remember tonight’s game. The offense looked helpess for much of the night as Keuchel induced a bunch of weak contact and strikeouts to prevail through the game. Things got quite interesting in the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs for New York, but the Yankees scored zilch to drop the first game of the four-game series 4-0 in Houston.
The Yankees had a bit of an orthodox lineup tonight. Chris Young leadoff? Gregorio Petit? Well, Joe Girardi had a RHH-heavy lineup out for tonight due to the fact that Keuchel has been like, a death angel against lefty hitters (they are hitting .140/.180/.200 off him so yeah).
But yeah, man is Dallas Keuchel nasty. He’s the embodiment of a great baseball pitcher that doesn’t light up the radar gun at all – probably a part of the reason why he was only a seventh rounder back in 2009 MLB Draft. His formula is simple – locate to low corners, cut, sink, tail the ball, change speeds, and that slider … well, he’s pretty nasty.
One Yankee batter that hit Keuchel hard (“hard” is a very relative term here) was Chris Young. Not only did he have singles in the first two at-bats, Young clocked a huge foul that just missed being a homer in the third AB (he ended up striking out swinging though, oh well).
The Yankees didn’t even get their first runner into scoring position until the ninth. Ninth! In fact, they didn’t just have a runner on second – they got the bases loaded with two outs. A-Rod hit a single with two outs and Mark Teixeira followed it up with a four-pitch walk. Carlos Beltran then hit a single to left to load the bases but Jose Pirela grounded out to third to end the game.
When it was all said and done, Keuchel threw nine innings of shutout baseball, allowing six hits, walking one and striking out twelve, good for a game score of 86. Yes, there were some questionable strike calls from Joe West – it seemed like he called a lot of borderline pitches as strikes and some days, umpires will be like that. Keuchel pitched to how West would call strikes on certain part of (or out of) the zone and he succeeded. Oh well.
Warren-ting a starting spot?
There was a lot of speculation that this might be the last start for Adam Warren before he gets moved to bullpen. Well, if it is … it was a decent departure. The righty went 5.2 IP, allowed five hits, three runs (two earned), a walk and four strikeouts. Actually, that line is one out away from being 6.0 IP with two earned runs, which looks much, much shinier. I’d call it a good start.
In the second inning, the Yankees just barely missed an inning-ending double play when Colby Rasmus beat Stephen Drew‘s throw to first. The next batter, Preston Tucker, lined a double to left where Pirela was playing him way towards center and took awhile to get to the ball. Rasmus scored as a result and Astros drew the first blood. 1-0.
Warren allowed another run in the fourth inning when Colby Rasmus hit a sacrifice fly with runners on first and third with one out. Jose Altuve, the runner on third, scored easily but Beltran’s throw got Luis Valbuena, the runner on first, out when he tried to get to the second base. How about that, a sacrifice double play!
In the sixth, Warren struck out Carlos Correa but allowed a single to Altuve. With Valbuena batting, Altuve attempted to steal second and John Ryan Murphy‘s throw sailed to the outfield, allowing Altuve to advance to third. Warren did end up striking out Valbuena but allowed an RBI single to Evan Gattis, 3-0. Girardi then pulled the plug on Warren’s day and brought in Chris Capuano.
I don’t think this was a bad start by any means. Warren was no Keuchel but I think he warrants staying in the rotation. I still have tons more trust in him than, let’s say, CC Sabathia. Unfortunately that probably won’t be the case.
Capuano came in to relieve Warren and had another meh-outing. He went 2.1 innings pitched, allowed two hits and an earned run while walking two and striking out two. At this point he’s just on the roster to eat innings while the team is losing (or winning by a huge margin) and that’s definitely a role that can be nice to have, I guess.
Box score, standing, highlights and WPA
Hopefully tomorrow the Yankees can get more offense going on against the rookie righty Vincent Velazquez. New York will have Nathan Eovaldi on the hill.