The Yankees drew just three walks in the 3-0 loss. Their only other baserunner came from Josh Donaldson reaching on an error. It was the first time the team had been no-hit since 2003, ironically also in June of that year by multiple Astros pitchers (six Houston arms combined for an 8-0 win 19 years ago).
The star of the show was Houston righty Cristian Javier, who pitched seven shutout innings with just one walk and 13 strikeouts. The Yankees had no answers for his fastball. At no point did the alleged Bronx Bombers have any momentum in their favor.
As a result, Gerrit Cole’s strong outing was wasted without a shred of support. The Yankees ace pitched seven strong innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. His only mistake was in the 7th inning when he allowed J.J. Matijevic’s solo home run to make it 1-0.
The next inning, Jose Altuve’s solo shot off Michael King might as well have been a dagger. Two walks in the bottom half brought Joey Gallo up as the go-ahead run, but Kyle Tucker caught his fly ball at the track. Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly finished the job.
Such has been the story of the Yankees all series. Even with Thursday’s walk-off win, the bats have been no match for Houston’s pitching. This is the pre-ordained American League Championship Series? Three games in, fortune seems to favor Houston. And the Yankees haven’t even had to play at Minute Maid Park yet.
Thankfully for the Yankees, they still hold a double-digit lead in the AL East. The best they can do is get mad about these two losses and take advantage of facing Jose Urquidy and his 4.68 ERA Sunday. That at least salvages a series split.
Otherwise, the Yankees are no different than these Astros: a team who succeeded thanks to a weak schedule and underachieving AL East.