In a worst-case scenario for a pair of southpaws, the Yankees suffered from the long ball bite and dropped this one to the Astros by the score of 9-7. Despite plating seven runs, it really should have been more, as they left 15 men on base and bailed the Houston pitchers out of many jams in what turned out to be a four-game series split.
Much like the scenario for the loss on Friday, the Yankees dug themselves an early hole, as their starter of elite expectations continued his struggles on the mound. In the same manner, as Luis Severino, Carlos Rodón cannot seem to get it together. Even though it’s only a six starts sample size, we’re most certainly past the point of simply chalking it up to that. And to add insult to injury, the southpaw had to cut his outing short, leaving before finishing the third frame with a hamstring injury.
Rodón only recorded eight outs before being sent off with boos, which one can get into a deeper conversation about it as the athlete was injured. However, purely from an on-field production standpoint, those boos were justified. In the second inning, the Yankees starter didn’t allow a ball in play through his first four batters faced, with two walks, and two strikeouts, before conceding a particularly inopportune homer to the eighth-hole hitter, Jake Meyers.
An inning later, it was the heart of the order’s turn, as Yordan Alvarez increased the Astros lead to 5-1, with a two-run shot. A Kyle Tucker strikeout as a follow-up would be the last at-bat for Rodón.
The Yankees were able to get back into it, which may not sound like a whole lot. However, for this offense these days, reversing a four-run deficit is a big deal, even if it came with extra help from the Astros staff.
Facing José Urquidy in his first start back off the IL, the Yankees earned not one, not two, not three, but four walks in the inning (plus a hit by pitch), putting up a four-spot in a frame in which they had zero hard-hit balls for base hits. Gleyber Torres and Harrison Bader complemented those four free passes, by each earning knocks that didn’t crack 75 mph. When Aaron Judge worked a free pass, the game was knotted up at 5-5.
It didn’t take long after tying the game for the Yankees to go behind once again, as the ever-so-reliable veteran lefty, Wandy Peralta had arguably his worst outing of the season in the sixth.
After getting the Astros’ two best hitters in Alvarez and Tucker to end the fifth, Peralta came back out there for another inning of work, which couldn’t have gone any worse. With a weary bullpen, Aaron Boone pushed him even though he was facing a bunch of righties and did have Trade Deadline addition Keynan Middleton in the bullpen. Unfortunately, Middleton’s two scoreless innings would come with the Yankees trailing.
Peralta allowed a walk and a single before surrendering two long balls to the bottom of the order. Meyers blasted his second three-run homer of the afternoon to hit a career-high with six RBI and light-hitting Martín Maldonado followed with a smash of his own.
The Yankees would get another chance to get back into this one, as Astros staff and their incredible 10 free passes in the game certainly gave them enough chance. However, down by two after a Bader RBI knock, Anthony Volpe swung at the first pitch with the bases loaded and flew out easily.
Judge also came up as the tying run in the ninth, but struck out facing the right-hander Bryan Abreu, who gave the Yanks a little extra life with a Torres walk on a pitch clock violation. However, with two on, Giancarlo Stanton was unable to do damage, and hit into the final out of the game, capping off an 0-for-6 day.
This was an ugly game from both sides, with a combined 15 free passes. However, the Yankees got the short end of the stick, getting out-homered by the bottom of Houston’s order, on top of a penciled-in series homer from the great Alvarez.
The Yankees now trail the Blue Jays by 4.5 games in the Wild Card standings as their playoff odds continue to sink. They’ll try to make up ground on the South Side of Chicago beginning tomorrow night, with ace Gerrit Cole facing Dylan Cease. First pitch will be at 8:10pm ET.