The Astros find themselves right across the street from baseball's hallowed ground, facing the Yankees in the final series between these two teams this season. These teams are quite a study in contrast. The Astros have the youngest average age in the Major Leagues, while the Yankees are the oldest. The Astros have a bunch of kids that have been brought up through the system, either from the draft or trades of veterans, while the Yankees are mostly guys who were really good somewhere else...and Derek Jeter. This is evident in the pitching matchup in this series opener, Brett Oberholtzer against Chris Capuano.
Obie looked good through five. The one blemish was a 2-out, 2-run homer by Brian McCann in the 4th inning to give New York a 2-0 lead. (I blame this on the CSN announcers, as they spent quite a bit of time talking about how McCann had not lived up to his power reputation since coming to the Yankees. I am superstitious like that.) The Astros cut into the lead in the 5th with a double by Gregorio Petit (his second of the day), and an RBI single by Robbie Grossman to make it 2-1. In the 6th, Dexter Fowler led off with a triple, and Jason Castro got him home with a groundout to second base to tie it up at 2. Matt Dominguez and Jonathan Singleton each followed with a single. Marwin Gonzalez pinch hit for Petit, and drove in 2 runs with a single to right (and an error on Ichiro) to take the 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the 6th Obie started to lose it a bit. After a single and a walk (sandwiched around a strikeout), he gave up a 2-RBI double to Martin Prado to tie the game at 4-4. Tony Sipp came in and got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
Yankees threatened in the bottom of the 8th, when Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second, and took third on the throwing error by Jason Castro. Josh Fields got Carlos Beltran to hit a grounder to Gonzalez at short, who threw home to easily get Ellsbury. Fields got them through the rest of the inning without giving up the lead.
The Astros broke it open in the top of the 9th. Grossman and Altuve both drew 1-out walks. Reigning AL player of the week Chris Carter (wearing his freshly earned Golden Sombrero) came to the plate. He got the green light on a 3-0 count, and hit a bomb into the left field seats to retake the lead 7-4.
Chad Qualls worked the bottom of the 9th for his 14th save.
Castro picked up his first stolen base of the season in the 9th inning.
Carter was not the only one with the K bug. Dominguez had 3, and Singleton, Grossman & Castro had 2 each on the way to a 15 strikeout night for the team.
Carter first Astros player since 2007 to have 30 home runs in a season (Berkman, Lee).
Even on a bit of an off night, Oberholtzer ended up with 7 strikeouts and only 1 walk in his shortest outing since April.