Swept Away — April 10, 2019: Houston 8 New York 6

Bad things happen to the Yankees vs the Houston Astros in the last few years. Whatever can go wrong, does go wrong. As @NYSportsChick tweeted during the game, “I feel like every time Yanks play at Minute Maid the same things happen: 1) The Yanks make stupid errors and 2) Astros score runs on cheap plays.”

And so it was again in game 3 in Houston in this early April game. James Paxton, high-priced free agent acquired in the off-season to help out at the top of the Yankee rotation — who has a history of pitching well against Houston — got pelted — allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings. Paxton allowed two homeruns to Jose Altuve — in the 1st and 5th innings, and a two-run job to Carlos Correa in Houston’s 4-run 5th.

The Yankees never recovered — although they got real close. Down 7-2 in the 8th, the Yankees rallied and put the tying run on 3rd with 1 out. Austin Romine came to bat but manager Aaron Boone did not pinch hit Gary Sanchez for him. Sanchez is currently a very hot Yankee hitter who was out for the game due to “leg soreness” after getting hit in his balls twice the day before on foul tips. Austin Romine hit a LINE DRIVE right to the 2nd baseman. Sanchez DID pinch hit for the next batter, Tyler Wade — but struck out.

Ballgame.

Highlights

The top of the Yankee lineup did its job in this game. In the middle of that Yankee 8th inning rally were Aaron Judge (who led off with a walk), Luke Voit (who hit a 2-run homer), Gleyber Torres (who singled and was overall 2 for 5 on the night), Greg Bird (who walked and was 1-2 with 2 walks overall), DJ LeMahieu (who doubled for 2 RBI and was 3 for 3 on the night with those 2 RBI), and Clint Frazier (who hit a sac fly).

Lowlights

On the other side, Jose Altuve continued to hit homeruns off Yankee pitchers. As mentioned above, he hit a homer in the 1st to tie the game after Gardner’s homer in the top of the 1st had put the Yanks ahead. Altuve hit a homer in the 5th to give Houston a 4-2 lead. Carlos Correa (3-4 with 3 RBI) hit a 2-run homer in the 5th off Paxton to give Houston a 6-2 lead. And Collin McHugh — who entered the game with an ERA in the 2’s — shut down the Yankee lineup thru 6 innings (2 runs, 9 strikeouts). He’s now 2-1 2.65 having a good start to the season.

Zack Britton tried to keep it to a 1-run game in the bottom of the 8th — but Jake Marisnick reached on an infield single to shortstop, and went to 2nd on a throwing error by Gleyber Torres. He scored on a single by George Springer, after the Yankees had pulled to within that 1 run. Aaron Judge ripped a single in the 9th to bring up the tying run in Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres but no cigar — both struck out against Houston closer Ryan Pressly.

After the game, manager Aaron Boone said he felt the Yanks were “really close to turning the corner”. This was met with skepticism on Yankee twitter.

Remember

This may be the game everyone remembers as Joe Harvey‘s first appearance in the big leagues. He looked good — pitching 2 innings of shutout relief and striking out 3.

The Boxscore

http://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=401074903

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