Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium didn’t exactly end in fairytale fashion. Against all odds, it looked like there may be some more late game magic in the ninth inning but the rally came up short. New York’s offense showed that they can never really be counted out of any game after turning a laugher into an uncomfortable game for their opponent.
The Yankees did win Game 1 of the doubleheader, and the rain subsided before the ceremony to honor the Yankees’ captain, but they couldn’t quite complete the two-game sweep. What they did, though, was make a total blowout into a game in the end.
Masahiro Tanka had quite possibly his worst outing as a Yankee. He allowed three first inning home runs, including a grand slam by the Astros eight-hole hitter, Alex Bregman. It was going to be that kind of night for the Yankees’ ace.
The damage didn’t end there, though. George Springer powered his second home run of the game in the second inning and Carlos Beltran drove home Carlos Correa with a double to make it eight runs against Tanaka in just 1.2 innings of work. Four homers and eight runs allowed are career-high marks for Tanaka as a Yankee.
A huge amount of credit goes to the Yankee bullpen, which was forced into an excessive amount of action in both games today. Giovanny Gallegos allowed an unearned run to the Astros because of a catcher’s interference call that allowed Josh Reddick to reach base.
Aside from that, the relievers held the powerful Astros lineup to just one additional run for the remainder of the game. In addition to Gallegos, Chasen Shreve, Tommy Layne, and Dellin Betances all helped clean up the mess impressively.
The Yankees battled back offensively in impressive fashion, showing their first bit of life in the fifth inning when Brett Gardner plated Chris Carter on a single and Matt Holliday launched a three-run home right to right field. That made it 9-4, which was as close as the Yankees would get until their two-out rally in the ninth.
In addition to Holliday’s big fly, Gardner was the star of the offensive show for New York as he reached base four times with three hits. The team struck out a somewhat alarming 16 times with ten coming against starter Charlie Morton.
The Yankees did make things interesting with three runs in the ninth inning beginning when a wild pitch brought home Ronald Torreyes with two on and two out. New York had one of their hottest hitters at the plate in Starlin Castro, and he singled in Gary Sanchez to bring the Yankees as close as they had been all day.
Aaron Judge doubled and advanced to third on an error that brought in Castro to make the game 10-7 with the tying run on deck. After Didi Gregorius walked to bring Aaron Hicks, another decent option for the moment, to the plate with a chance to tie it, he grounded out to end the hope of a complete comeback.
The result was a pretty disappointing ending to an otherwise pretty good day for the Yankees. Panic about the state of the rotation will be out in full force, and it continues to be really the lone area of complaint for a successful team.
While it is definitely a somewhat concerning aspect of an otherwise very exciting team, a bad game against a good team isn’t the end of the world. The thing about losses is they all count the same, thankfully, in this situation.
On the other side of the coin, this offense is a powerhouse. They are really never out of a game, which can make up for some of the pitching woes. It’s not reasonable to expect them to score double digit runs every night, but credit to them for being such a strength.
New York is off tomorrow before heading to Kansas City for a three-game set against the Royals on Tuesday at 8:15 pm ET.