Ellsbury is thrown out at the plate to end Yankees rally in 3-2 loss to Dallas Keuchel led Astros

The Yankees headed in looking to remove the memories of Dallas Keuchel’s dominance against them in past seasons. Well this didn't change, as Keuchel continued his 2017 success and once again prevented the Yanks offense from doing anything at all. The Astros improve upon their AL West lead, as they are now 24-11 through 35 games following tonight’s 3-2 victory over the Yankees. The Yanks have lost two straight and have lost the AL East lead in the process.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports
The ‘Stros got things going right away scoring two in the first inning. That was mainly due to a costly mental error from the Yankees defense. The second hitter of the game, Josh Reddick, who was signed away from the Dodgers this offseason for a large deal, hit a relatively typical pop up in short center field. Didi ranged back, but neither him nor Ellsbury called it off. The confusion caused the ball to drop and allowed Reddick to reach on what was ruled a double. Two batters later Carlos Correa took advantage of the short right field fence and hit a liner into the seats for his fourth of the season. The HR gave the Astros an early 2-0 lead and they tacked on another run in the top half of a busy fifth inning via a George Springer RBI single, knocking in Norichika Aoki after he stole second.

The bottom half of the inning was the Yankees’ first of two great chances to finally break through against Keuchel. With one out and the bases loaded, first baseman Chris Carter unsurprisingly flailed with a full count at ball four, making it two outs. Ellsbury continued his strange ability of being able to create catcher interferences, as one run scored on Brian McCann’s interference against his former teammate. With bases once again loaded, Gary Sanchez came up only to hit a weak grounder to third, as youngster Alex Bregman made a phenomenal play to end the threat. The sixth inning was once again full of missed chances, including the Astros. Pineda was able to work around Jose Altuve’s leadoff double and somehow the Yanks were unable to score after back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the sixth from Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro. Keuchel proceeded to strike out the next three hitters, Aaron Judge, Chase Headley, and Didi Gregorius in order.

Michael Pineda took the mound for the Bronx Bombers in this one and really weathered the storm quite well. The two-run homer given up to Correa in the first shouldn’t have even gotten to that point in the first place, if it weren’t for the outfield confusion. He then dominated the next few innings before a Bregman one-out double in the fifth. Pineda didn’t allow a hit from the second to the fourth though, striking out six and walking Correa in the process. The fifth inning was where Springer, as mentioned, hit an RBI single. The Astros got doubles off Pineda in the sixth and seventh innings as well, before Pineda was pulled with two outs in the seventh. Pineda did not pitch great, but really was able to keep it together and not let the game get completely out of hand. His official line, after Adam Warren came on to get the final out of the seventh, was 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and three runs. He also added seven strikeouts, three of which came against former teammates Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran.

2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel built upon his tremendous success thus far, as he came in with a sub-2.00 ERA. He lasted six-plus innings, allowing five hits and one run, which was not earned. He also struck out nine and walked just one. This was actually Keuchel’s first start of the season in which he didn’t last at least seven innings, thanks in large part to the Yankees ability to work up his pitch count in the fifth and sixth innings. He was taken over by Chris Devenski, who came on and walked two, while striking out four and not allowing a hit in two innings of work. Devenski continued his league-leading whiff rate, as he has been huge for the Astros bullpen, especially with veteran Luke Gregerson struggling. Hard throwing righty Ken Giles then came on to close things out, picking up his 10th save of the year and giving the Astros game one in a 3-2 victory. That was not without pressure though, as Aaron Hicks walked and Ellsbury singled with two outs and two strikes in the ninth. With runners on second and third, Gary Sanchez singled to left knocking in Hicks. Ellsbury tried to tie the game up, but Jake Marisnick threw him out from left field to end the game.

There weren’t any notables really for the Yankees, who had just seven hits from five different hitters. No one registered an extra-base hit, but they did have their chances. The offense struggled overall though against arguably the second-best lefty in the AL and ended up with just six hits and one run for the game. The Astros really didn’t have many notables, but Correa’s homer was certainly the difference in the first inning. Bregman, like Correa, also had two hits, one of which was a double. In total, the offense accumulated a homer, four doubles, and four singles against the Yankees pitching staff.

These two will face off at the same time tomorrow night in the second of this four-game series. Pitching for the Yanks will be rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who has impressed in the fifth rotation spot. On the flip side, Lance McCullers Jr. will look to continue his highly impressive season, as he continues his ascendance towards one of the better young pitchers in baseball. The Yanks will look to keep pace with the Astros for the best record in the majors.

Winning Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.69 ERA): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-2, 3.27 ERA): 6.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Save: Ken Giles (10)

Notables:
Chase Headley: 1-4, R
Aaron Hicks: 0-1, 3 BB, SB
Gary Sanchez: 1-5, RBI
Adam Warren: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB
Carlos Correa: 2-3, HR (4), 2 RBI, BB
George Springer: 1-4, RBI, BB

Article By: Spencer Schultz
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