The New York Yankees couldn’t possibly strike out 14 times against Justin Verlander and still get the win, right? Wrong.
- New York Yankees 4 (19-10)
- Houston Astros 0 (20-11)
- W: David Robertson (2-1, 2.93 ERA)
- L: Ken Giles (0-1, 5.23 ERA)
- AL, Final, Box Score
- Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
A night after the New York Yankees dropped a tough series opener 2-1 to the World Champion Houston Astros, the team got incredible contributions from every arm that toed the rubber tonight as Gary Sanchez blasted them to their first win in Houston in the last seven attempts.
Jordan Montgomery started the game, but was lifted following the first frame, leaving an opportunity for the bullpen to show what they are made of. And impress they did, as five Yankee relievers combined with Montgomery to shut out the World Champs on an overcast night in Houston.
After retiring the Astros in order on just seven pitches in the first inning, Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery sustained an injury and was lifted before the start of the bottom of the second inning for the right-handed Domingo German.
It was later revealed that Montgomery’s departure was due to left elbow tightness, and the lefty will head back to New York tomorrow for further evaluation.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 2, 2018
Despite the emergency call, German was terrific as he went on to hold that daunting Astros lineup scoreless for the next four innings.
Making the Wrong Kind of History
While German was keeping the Astros off the scoreboard through the first half of the game, Justin Verlander was mowing down the Yankee bats with alarming regularity.
Verlander recorded 10 strikeouts through the first five frames, making it now back-to-back games where an opposing starter reached double-digit whiffs against the Yankees. According to the YES Network research department, that feat has not been accomplished against the Yankees since Kerry Wood and Mark Prior did it for the Cubs back in 2003.
25 strikeouts for the Bombers lineup since the plane touched down in Houston.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 2, 2018
When all was said and done, Verlander fanned a total of 14 Bomber batters before giving way to the bullpen in the top of the ninth.
Keeping Up With the Justins
Not to be outdone by the home hurler, Chad Green came on in relief of German’s sensationally clutch outing (4 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 4K) to retire the heart of the Astros order on nine pitches.
The revitalized Dellin Betances followed suit by allowing one hit, but striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh.
David Robertson got his chance to join in on the fun in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Houdini did not disappoint as the righty sat down the Houston opposition without issue.
With Verlander finally out of the game, the Yankee bats finally had a chance to push the go-ahead run across in the top of the ninth.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) May 2, 2018
The three runs plated by the Sanchez dinger accounted for the most runs the Yankees have scored in Houston in seven games at Minute Maid Park. Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch put it best when he tweeted this out following the go-ahead shot.
And they are streaming for the exits here at Minute Maid Park. Wow.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 2, 2018
Immediately after the long ball, Aaron Hicks ripped a single off of the Astros closer Ken Giles, ending the evening for the defeated reliever. Hicks would go on to score on a passed ball later in the inning to make it 4-0 New York, before handing things over to their closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth.
Chapman came on and added to the list of Yankee pitchers that held the Astros scoreless by striking out the side in order to end the game.
With the series now at a game apiece, these two teams square off again tomorrow for the third meeting of this four-game set.
Toeing the bump for the Yankees tomorrow will be staff ace Luis Severino (4-1, 2.61 ERA), who will be looking to continue his early season dominance and give his Pinstripers an edge in this battle of American League powerhouses. Houston will counter with their former Cy Young Award-winning lefty Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 4.00 ERA), who (outside of his second start against New York in the ALCS Game 5) has completely owned these New York Yankees for the last few seasons.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM/EST and can be seen on the YES Network and ESPN(for those out of market) and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.