Yankees beat up on Houston in series opener

On the eve of Aaron Judge’s return to the lineup, the Yankees began an important four game set with the Houston Astros. While the Yankees have certainly been missing Judge, they have gotten healthy in other areas and rolled out a fearsome lineup to face their fellow contender on Thursday night. The Yankees opted to use this game as a bullpen day and the group turned in an effort that was good enough to bring home a win after their offense took over. Despite giving up some runs late, the Yankees brought home a 10-6 win and will now have Aaron Judge back in the fold on Friday.

Credit:Adam Hunger/AP Photo

Aaron Boone rolled with Chad Green as his opener in this game and Green got the Yankees off on the right foot, holding down the Astros for the first two innings. While this may not be their preference long term, Green has been very good in this role and has looked much closer to the Chad Green of old. Since his return after the demotion, he has seen his velocity tick up into the high 90s and has lowered his ERA from over 16 to 6.93.  The Yankees have won the last six games that Green has been used as an opener.

After Green, Nestor Cortes Jr. was the next man up and he was good yet again for this Yankee team. Cortes gave the Yankees three innings and earned a win while allowing two runs on solo homers. Despite how good he has been, Cortes fell victim to the Yankees' current roster crunch and was demoted after the game to make room for Judge.

While the bullpen was holding down the Astros early, the Yankees offense would seize control as the game wore on. After going scoreless for the first three innings the Yankees dropped a six spot in the fourth and didn’t look back. Gary Sanchez began the scoring with a solo home run, his second game in row with a home run. A few batters later, Gleyber Torres launched a three-run homer to make it 4-0. DJ LeMahieu capped the inning with a two-run home run into Monument Park.

The Yankees continued to tack on runs as the game wore on. In the fifth inning, Cameron Maybin continued his hot hitting with an RBI double that made it 8-2. In the 7th, Edwin Encarnacion capped the Yankee scoring with a two-run homer to make it 10-2.

After an inning by Tommy Kahnle, David Hale was brought on to pitch the final three innings. While he was able to get the Yankees into the ninth inning with the lead, he did not pitch well and the Astros added a few runs to tighten up the score. Aaron Boone left nothing to chance and eventually brought on Aroldis Chapman to secure the game and earn a one out save.

What’s Next?

The Yankees and Astros will face off again on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. This game will mark Aaron Judge’s return to the lineup. First pitch is at 7:05pm and probable starters are James Paxton and Brad Peacock. 

Article by Matt Graziano


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