Paxton Ain’t So Bad — June 21, 2019: NY 4 Houston 1

James Paxton — the Yankees big pitching free-agent acquisition of this past off season — has felt the ire of Yankee Twitter the last 2 months — but after coming off the IL with knee soreness has now given the Yankees some BIG starts against GOOD teams — this one a 5-inning, 1 run stint against Houston that kept the Yanks 4.5 in 1st over Tampa and 7 over Boston. He got his pitch count to 100 so had to leave after 5 innings — but was TOUGH against the hard-hitting Houston Astros lineup.

And the Yankee ballpen — not so bad. Four more shutout innings to ice another game — Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman.

And then there is Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres — who both hit homers for the 3rd consecutive game — the first time it has ever been done by Yankee teammates — in over 100 years of illustrious Yankee play.

And that was ballgame.

Encarnacion and the Yankee Defense = Sterling

In between, the Yankee defense was Sterling. Edwin Encarnacion showed off his D at 1st base — with several terrific scoops — one in the 5th on a slow grounder that Didi Gregorius fielded to his right and made an off balance throw on for the final big out of that inning.

Brett Gardner made a terrific sliding catch in foul territory down the left field line in the 7th. In the 8th, Zack Britton got into a dual with Josh Reddick — Reddick fouling off pitch after pitch with runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out — but he grounded one up the middle that Gleyber Torres fielded and flipped with his glove to Didi to begin the HUGE doubleplay to end the inning.

The Yankee Runs

Brad Peacock, Houston’s starter — was terrific. But Sanchez hit a 2-run MONSTER homer off him in the 3rd to give the Yanks a 2-0 lead. It tied him with his now teammate — Encarnacion — for the American League lead in homeruns with 23. Besides that, Peacock kept the Yankees in check thru 6, striking out 11. As SOON as he came out, relieved by Hector Rondon, the Yankees got more — Brett Gardner doubled and Gleyber Torres hit an opposite field homer to right for the 4-1 lead.

Chapman Did his Best John.. Wetteland

Chapman did his best John Wetteland in the 9th, making it interesting — a walk and a 2-out bunt single by Jose Altuve (3 for 4 to raise his average to .248) bring the tieing run up with the homer-hitting youngster Yordan Alvarez at the plate. A pitcher-batter duel ensued, with Chapman striking out Alvarez on a 3-2 pitch — fastball set up by a slider on previous pitch — for the win.


This was the game where Aaron Judge came back from the long injury to his rib section. He went 0-4. This was also the game where Michael Kay was announcing with a bad sore throat — that got him trending on NY Twitter.

The Boxscore

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