LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Lose Thrilling Opener To Astros Series

Friday, May 12, 2017

Yankees Lose Thrilling Opener To Astros Series

Dallas Keuchel is some pitcher.

Staked to a two run lead even before he took the mound, Keuchel  kept the Yankees in check through the first six innings. The Yankee fifth was somewhat of a challenge for Keuchel, thanks to an error that got the ball rolling. But when the Yankees loaded the bases, Chris Carter struck out on a 3-2 pitch and Jacoby Ellsbury did what Jacoby Ellsbury does best--he reached base on catcher interference, which plated the Yankees only run of the night off Keuchel.

At least the Yankees touched up Keuchel for one run, albeit an unearned run. Gary Sanchez then grounded out leaving the bases loaded in that fifth inning, which was the best scoring opportunity of the night.

Until the 9th inning.

The Yankees had the tying run thrown out at the plate after their second run of the game scored on a Gary Sanchez single to left. That was the final out of the game.  Yanks lose 3-2. Credit Yankees Michael Pineda with a solid effort of his own.

So the good news is Yankees got the Astros ace out of the way in the first game of the series. Now it's time to feast on Astros pitching the next three games. Easier said than done, as the Astros are 24-11 on the season for a reason, and Keuchel is only a part of that. But give the Yankees credit for battling against perhaps the best pitcher in the American League. And they darn near tied the game on the Astros closer in the 9th inning.

Enjoy the next three games, Yankees fans. And enjoy  Derek Jeter night at the Stadium on Mother's Day evening.  Always fun to watch one of the Yankee greats from the past come back to the stadium for a special moment.

And speaking of special, this Yankees team, despite losing on Thursday, is showing something special this season. Derek Jeter should be proud of his twenty years in the Bronx, not to mention proud of these current Yankees, who have  played 2017 in a very Jeter-esque manner.  

Keuchel actually had his pitch count increase from 42 after four innings to 97 after six innings, which forced the Astros to go to the bullpen. Credit Chris Devenski for holding the Yankees for two innings before Ken Giles closed out the game (barely).

Jake Marisnick was the Astros leftfielder whose throw on the fly nailed Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate to end the game. He entered the game in the bottom of the 7th inning as a defensive replacement.

At AAA Scranton: Bryan Mitchell took the loss in an 11-5 defeat, lasting only 2 1/3 innings, while giving up five runs (two earned).

The Yankees called up another pitcher after demoting Chad Green to AAA following the Cincinnati series. They promoted right hander Giovanny Gallegos, who  gives the Yankees 13 pitchers and a three man bench. Part of the reason the Yankees don't call up a bench player from the minors is there are few good options on the 40 man roster. Rob Refsnyder was just sent down following the 18 inning game in Chicago and is not eligible to be recalled for ten days, unless he is an injury replacement. The other possible options include catcher Kyle Higashioka (they don't need three catchers) and outfielder Mason Williams (Yankees are trying to get playing time for their current outfielders) The two other position players on the 40 man roster, 3B Miguel Andujar and SS Jorge Mateo are not ready for prime time. Hopefully Greg Bird gets healthy soon, but he is hitting .100 on the season and may need some time at AAA before returning to the Bronx.

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