Blown Opportunity. 6 Reasons Why Houston 7 NY 4 on 5-6-21

This was just about to be a nice win. Gerrit Cole had out-dueled Lance McCullers Jr. and the Yankees took a 3-2 lead into the top of the 8th, handing the game to their vaunted bullpen. On a beautiful, Sunny, blue sky May Thursday afternoon with temps in high 60’s. A sweep of the cheater Astros.

And then it wasn’t. In fact it turned Ugly as can be.

1. Green Couldn’t Locate the Curveball

Chad Green came in for the 8th — as Gerrit Cole was at 97 pitches. But Green couldn’t locate the curveball, and it was apparent from the first batter, Kyle Tucker, whom he walked. Next came a hard grounder hit by Aledmys Diaz past 3rd that Gio Urshela made a Graig Nettles play on, diving to his right to snare it, and throw to 1st — in line but on a hop — that Mike Ford — who had a terrific day in the field otherwise — could not handle. It went past him and it was runners on 1st and 3rd, nobody out. The tying run on 3rd with the Yanks nursing their 3-2 lead.

But Green struck out Martin Maldonado, and hope sprung amongst Yankee fans that he could get out of it.

And then Jose Altuve stepped up. Evil enemy #1. The cheater of cheaters. Being booed by Yankee Stadium.

Green still couldn’t locate the curve, which meant Altuve could sit on the fastball. He’s a fastball hitter; that’s what he hits. Green threw 2 curveballs for balls en route to a 3-1 count. A fastball for a strike. The count at 3-2 — Green threw another fastball. Altuve swung with all his might.

Homerun Altuve into the left field bleachers. Houston 5 NY 3.

2. Gleyber’s Greatest Baserunning Play of All Time

The Yankee offense now needed to produce 2 runs to tie the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the 8th with a single.

And then the Greatest Baserunning Play of All Time unfolded: with 1 out Aaron Hicks hit a grounder up the middle — knocked down by shortstop Carlos Correa at 2nd base with the shift on — it was a basehit. With the ball on the ground being picked up by Correa, and the 3rd baseman Alex Bregman over to look on, Torres realized with the shift on, nobody was covering 3rd base, so kept running past 2nd to the empty 3rd base! The catcher Maldonado ran to cover 3rd too late — and as Torres came into 3rd, he realized nobody was covering home — so sprinted home — beating the catcher there in a race to home as everyone on the field looked on befuddled, realizing what had just happened. Houston 5 NY 4.

3. Wilson Brought Gasoline

Justin Wilson pitched the 9th — and walked Tucker and coughed up a 2-run homer to Maldonado to put the game out of reach — Houston 7-4; final score.

4. Cole Loses Win

What had looked like a great Sunny day turned crappy — Cole had outdueled Lance McCullers Jr.and looked like a sure winner when the game was turned over to the Yanks vaunted bullpen in the 8th.

Cole pitched 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, and 4 strikeouts on 97 pitches.

5. Obscured: Down Town Goes Frazier

Obscured by the loss was Clint Frazier‘s opposite field 2-run homer in the 4th which put the Yanks up 3-1 and looked for a long while like it would be the game winner.

6. Obscured: Giancarlo Another ROCKET

Also obscured by the loss was another Giancarlo Stanton blast that gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead in the 3rd. Stanton continues his RED HOT hitting — a 12-game hitting streak and 9 home runs now (3rd in the American League behind J.D. Martinez and Ronald Acuna Jr.who both have 10).


Aaron Judge struck out his first 2 times up — to make it 7 strikeouts in a row — before ending the strikeout streak by grounding out in the 5th. He went 0-4 and is at .253. He was red hot 4 days ago.

Aaron Hicks went 3-3 with a walk to raise his average off the Interstate, to .202.

Gio Urshela went 2-3 to raise his average to .287.

The Boxscore


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