The Yankees and Astros have played a bunch of drama-filled games so far this season. A pitching matchup of Luis Severino and Dallas Keuchel had the potential to produce another in their final meeting. However, the amount of drama wound up being fairly minimal.
Severino more than lived up to that on his end, throwing seven strong innings. However on the other side, the Yankees had one of their best games against Keuchel, knocking him out early in the sixth inning. The runs they scored off him were all they needed thanks to Severino and the bullpen. The Yankees won the game and the series, taking the finale 5-3.
The Yankee’ offense got going immediately in the first inning. They scored one run, and were slightly unlucky to not have gotten more. Aaron Hicks worked a lead-off walk, and moved to third when Aaron Judge singled. Giancarlo Stanton then hit one towards the gap in right-center. Jake Marisnick made a diving catch to rob Stanton of what would have been extra bases. It did allow Hicks to tag up and score, however.
Later in the inning, Gary Sanchez would walk, and he and Judge both moved up bases on a wild pitch. Both would have scored if a well hit line drive from Gleyber Torres fell in. However, it was hit straight at Yuli Gurriel, who caught it to end the inning.
Severino was dominant early. He was perfect through the first 3.2 innings, striking out seven in that time. He eventually gave up a hit in the fourth, and then a couple runs in the fifth. With one out in the inning, Severino walked Marwin Gonzalez. After a ground out, Max Stassi, seemingly out of nowhere, took Severino deep for a two-run home run to put Houston ahead.
The Yankees would immediately get those two runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Keuchel got two outs on either side of a Austin Romine single. After that, Judge added a single, and Stanton walked, keeping the inning alive and loading the bases. Sanchez then punched through a single, scoring two runs to quickly put the Yankees back in front.
The Yankees knocked Keuchel out of the game the following inning. Torres led off the sixth with a double, and moved to third on a wild pitch during the next at bat. Didi Gregorius then singled, scoring Torres. At that point, the Astros then decided to bring to Collin McHugh to relieve Keuchel. Following the pitching change, Andujar struck out and Gregorius was caught stealing, but the Yankees weren’t done in the inning just yet. Romine kept the inning alive with a walk, and would come around a score on a Hicks double that was aided by Gonzalez missing on a diving catch attempt.
A couple innings later, David Robertson came out to pitch the eighth, ending Severino’s day. The Yankees’ starter ended up going seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out 11. Other than that brief period in the fifth inning where he allowed the runs, Severino was excellent. As for Robertson, he allowed a single, but kept Houston off the board.
Aroldis Chapman came into the ninth with a three-run lead, but did allow a run. That allowed the Astros to bring the tying run to the plate, but any rally attempts stopped there. Chapman held them to just the one run, sealing the win.
The Yankees are now done with regular season games against Houston, and have come out with a 5-2 edge. Obviously that win-loss record won’t matter if the two teams meet in the postseason. However, it’s proof that the Yankees have the ability to beat the defending World Series champions.