Yankee Bombers Bomb Late Again! Stroman Good. NY 5 Houston 3

Juan Soto puts Yanks ahead with his first Homer as a Yankee.

For the second game in a row the Yankees spotted the Astros an early lead, but came back with runs late to win the game — this time with 3 homeruns — a game-tying homer by Oswaldo Cabrera in the 7th, a go-ahead homer by Juan Soto a few batters later, and an insurance homer by Anthony Volpe in the 8th.

Final score, Yankees 5 Astros 3 on a Saturday night in Houston. Nationally televised game on Fox.

Marcus Stroman pitched 6 very good innings for NY, and the bullpen of Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes, was spotless.

“I felt like I made pitches when I needed to, guys made plays when they needed to behind me, and then obviously timely hitting from the boys is pretty incredible,” said Stroman afterwards. “I’m very excited — a bunch of anxiety; didn’t sleep much; didn’t eat much; but it felt good to get out there and get a win and get the job done. Definitely a lot that went into it; a lot of excitement; so to get it past me (is good); now get into a routine and get on a roll here.”

NY improves to 3-0; Houston drops to 0-3.

1. Stroman Very Good

Marcus Stroman grew up a Yankee fan in Long Island. He has pined to be a Yankee his whole career, and now is one.

The 5’7 Stroman is diminutive by today’s standards where every starting pitcher seems 6’2 or taller if not 6’5 to 6’8 — but he pitches big. His 90-MPH sinker gets a lot of ground outs — and will play well in Yankee Stadium, said John Smoltz on the national broadcast. He mixes in a nasty 85-MPH cutter, 83-MPH slurve, and sneaks in a 92-MPH fastball that looks faster due to the other pitches.

While Luis Severino was getting bombed in his first start as a Met in the afternoon (6 runs on 12 hits in 5 innings), Stroman — a Met last year — took to the mound for the Yanks in Houston and pitched really well. The two essentially replaced each other in each team’s starting rotation; both signing as free agents.

Stroman pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, but an infield error and serendipity got him in the 2nd:

  • With 1 out, Oswaldo Cabrera fielded a grounder by Yainer Diaz but bounced one in the dirt to Anthony Rizzo at 1st for an error.
  • Jose Abreu appeared to swing for strike 3 on a 2-2 pitch but the ball grazed him on the arm, after the swing went through. It was ruled a hit by pitch.
  • Jeremy Pena hit a slow grounder to shortstop, and the Yanks “just missed” turning the double play to end the inning — Pena just beating it out.
  • The inning should have been over twice, but it was still 2 out, 2 on when Mauricio Dubon hit a shot to right that went “just over” the glove of Juan Soto for a double and 2 runs — a ball that Aaron Judge with his 6’7 height, would have caught if he was still in right field. Houston 2 NY 0.

Former Yank ace Phil Hughes — rooting for the Yanks — was chagrinned at the serendipity of it.





2. Astros Gift the Yanks Back a Run

The Yanks got a run in the 2nd off Houston starter Hunter Brown to make it 2-1.

With 1 out, Soto singled, and Aaron Judge fouled off three 2-strike pitches and rocketed one up the middle for a single. Anthony Rizzo hit a shot down 1st that went past Jose Abreu for an error and a run.

3. Stroman Gets the Win

Meanwhile, Stroman pitched a shutout 3rd and 4th (getting a double play to end the 4th off his sinker).

The Yankee defense deserted Stroman in the 5th. Down 2-1, Stroman allowed a 1-out single, then Jose Altuve bunted down 3rd — a perfect bunt that Cabrera let roll hoping it would go foul (having no chance to get Altuve) but the ball stayed fair, hitting the 3rd base bag.

With 1st and 2nd, 1 out, Yordan Alvarez hit a fielder’s choice grounder for an out at 2nd, but Volpe threw it away trying to get the double play at 1st, and Stroman covering threw the ball away trying to catch the runner at 3rd — a run scored.

Stroman allowed a leadoff double to Alex Bregman in the 6th, then got a strikeout and fly out, and faced Jeremy Pena — probably his last batter in the game as his pitch count was in the mid 90’s.

With the runner on 2nd, 2 outs, NY down 3-1, Stroman went 3-2 on Pena. Manager Aaron Boone was seen in the dugout, rustling.

On the 3-2 pitch, Stroman struck out Pena with a cutter — and left the mound PSYCHED.

It meant the Yanks were still in the game and Stroman was still the pitcher of record.

4. Cabrera Ties It

And the Yanks rewarded Stroman with 3 runs in the top of the 7th to make him the winning pitcher!

The Astros brought in hard thrower Bryan Abreu for the top of the 7th. Austin Wells worked a walk to lead off.

Oswaldo Cabrera fouled off a 1-2 pitch then rocketed a 97-MPH fastball into the right field stands for a 2-run homer and 3-3 tie.

5. Soto Puts NY Ahead

Trent Grisham walked but was picked off 1st with Gleyber Torres batting.

With 2 outs, Juan Soto stepped up and ripped an 87-MPH sinker to the opposite field for a Homerun and 3-2 Yankee lead — making Stroman the winning pitcher of record!

4. Volpe Insurance HR

With 2 outs in the top of the 8th, Anthony Volpe and his QUICK WRISTS hit a 3-1 fastball from Ryan Pressley high into the left center seats for a huge insurance run. NY 5 Houston 3.

5. Yank Bullpen Spotless

Meanwhile Ian Hamilton came in for the 7th and 8th and was lights out — 6 straight outs.

In the 9th, Clay Holmes got the first 2 outs but then hit Pena with a pitch. Always at least a little bit of agita with Holmes.

But Holmes got Mauricio Dubon to ground out to shortstop for the old ballgame.


Stroman ended up with 6 innings pitched, 5 hits allowed, and 0 earned runs — so he is 1-0 0.00.

In a 2019 interview on ESPN, Marcus Stroman said: “I’m from New York and I’m a New York boy. That kind of says everything for itself. I love pitching [at Yankee Stadium]. New York is like the Mecca of the world. I love excitement, the bright lights, competition, I love pressure. I always loved pitching here. I haven’t necessarily pitched well, [but] I always enjoyed it. Yankee lineups are brutal. They are kind of hard to navigate, [but] I love the spotlight. The bigger the moment, that’s what I kind of wanted it to be.”

The Boxscore



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