LADY AT THE BAT: Ninth Inning Rally Caps Yankees Successful Road Trip

Friday, May 4, 2018

Ninth Inning Rally Caps Yankees Successful Road Trip

I have to admit I didn't want to see this road trip come at the time it did. Three games against the Angels at Anaheim and four in Houston to follow seemed like a daunting task. But maybe not that bad. Thinking we could see the Yankees go 3-4 or 4-3 in this stretch, right? That would be holding their own. Nothing to hang your head about such a trip to these two cities.
The Yankees have not experienced many winning series in Anaheim in recent memory. Houston won all four games at home in the ALCS against the Yankees, as the Yankees did the same to the Astros in three games in New York. And following Thursday's matinee at Minute Maid Park the results are in.

The Yankees thumped both the Astros and Angels to the tune of a 6-1 road trip with the one loss a squeaker won by the Astros 2-1 Monday night as Sonny Gray held his own.

Thursday afternoon the Yankees did what they had to do to claim a win, scoring three runs in the ninth inning, tying the game on rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres' two run single. Aaron Judge drove in the winning run with an RBI ground out, 6-5 Yanks. Spoiler alert: Gleyber is here to stay. Watching him in the field and at bat gives you the sense he has done this for awhile. Before the heroics of Torres and Co. the Yankees endured an unfortunate 7th inning with the Astros at bat, which erased the Yanks 3-0 lead. Two dinky singles followed by a hit batsman and Masahiro Tanaka's shutout was in jeopardy as he was pulled from the game in favor of Chad Green. Long story short, all three runners scored as did another run and the Yankees trailed 4-3 after seven innings. Carlos Correa hit what appeared to be a insurance solo home run in the 8th inning, but the Yankees weren't finished.  

The series in Houston, won three games to one by the Yankees, was not without its mishaps. Jordan Montgomery left game two on Tuesday after throwing one inning and seven pitches, with an elbow problem, which will likely keep the Yankees lefty out of action until after the All Star break in July. With a little luck, they found Montgomery's replacement in Domingo German, who followed Montgomery's exit that game with four shutout innings. The Yankees managed to win with a four run 9th inning rally against Astros reliever Ken Giles, who left the mound and gave himself a solid punch to the jaw as he entered the dugout, a blow which will forever be seen among the all time bizarre baseball highlights.

Two of the Astros losses highlighted what has changed in baseball over the last three or four decades. Justin Verlander was sailing along through eight innings, having allowed 3 hits, no runs, no walks and 14 strikeouts. But his pitch count was over 100. So they pulled Verlander in favor of Giles who turned a 0-0 deadlock into a 4-0 loss. Thursday afternoon Astros reliever Chris Devenski threw just 12 pitches, striking out the side and the heart of the Yankees order. And Devenski was nowhere to be seen when the 9th inning started. Will Haris relieved and, just like Giles on Tuesday night,  Harris surrendered the 9th inning, runs which cost the Astros the game. Once upon a time,  a Verlander like performance would have earned the Astro starter a chance at a complete game. Devinski would likely not have been pulled having just fanned three of the Yankees big guns,  Of course, the irony in all of this is Luis Severino's performance in the series which resulted in a complete game 4-0 shutout on Wednesday night.

Talk about a throwback.

Looking ahead.......

Yankees return home Friday to start a three  game series with the Cleveland Indians, with Boston and Oakland to follow on the nine game home stand. The Yankees start the home stand trailing the Red Sox by one game. Seems like yesterday the Sox were running away with the AL East doesn't it? 

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