What a game. It’s always nice when you give your starting pitcher the lead before he even takes the mound. It’s even better when that starting pitcher is a dominant Dallas Keuchel (is it too early to break out Cyeuchel?).
After Josh Reddick hit a double, Carlos Correa got things started right for the Astros with a 2-run homer to right field off Michael Pineda. Correa already had 2 HRs against Pineda coming into the game.
Correa’s HR came with 2 outs- something not uncommon for the Astros this season. In fact, their last 8 runs (including the 3 tonight) have scored with 2 outs in the inning.
Dallas Keuchel got to work in the 1st and was masterful, just as he has been so far in 2017. He had a 1-2-3 first inning and cruised through the first 4 innings. His biggest struggle came in the 5th and was due to a couple defensive miscues.
After getting the behemoth Aaron Judge to ground out, Chase Headley also hit what should have been a ground out. Yuli Gurriel dropped the ball though, allowing Headley to reach safely. Didi Gregorius followed with a single, and Keuchel walked Aaron Hicks to load the bases with one out.
Former Astro Chris Carter came to the plate with a chance to hit a grand slam against his former team, but instead struck out on a changeup. With bases still loaded, Jacoby Ellsbury’s bat hit Brian McCann’s glove on a swing, prompting a catcher’s interference call to drive in a run.
Keuchel was able to keep the Yankees there as he induced a ground ball off the bat of Gary Sanchez for the third out (Keuchel inducing a ground ball? Weird, I know).
Keuchel got himself into trouble again in the 6th by giving up singles to the first two batters he faced. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Keuchel buckled down and got the next 3 batters to strike out swinging. His final line tonight was 6 IP, 0 ER (1 unearned), 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K.
The Astros 3rd run of the game came in the 5th. Alex Bregman hit a 1-out double, and then with 2 outs, Springer put up a great plate appearance that ended with an RBI single. The Astros held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 7th when one of the most dominant relievers in baseball entered the game.
Devenski relieved Keuchel and did Devo things, striking out 4 batters over 2 innings. Chris Devenski is good, ladies and gentlemen... real good. His ERA is now below 2.00 and he has thrown the most innings by a reliever in major league baseball.
Ken Giles came on to close it out in the 9th and decided to give me heart palpitations (again). I’m only 28 years old Kenneth, and I’d like to see my daughters graduate high school at least. But all is well that ends well and the Astros did win the game.
Giles gave up a 1-out walk to Aaron Hicks, struck out Brett Gardner, and then Ellsbury hit a single to put runners on the corners with 2 outs. Gary Sanchez (yes, he is the guy who hit 20 HRs in 53 games as a rookie last year) stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run.
Ellsbury stole second so that he could score the tying run on a single. Well Sanchez did hit a single, and he hit it to left field. Fortunately, A.J. Hinch had put one of the MLB’s best defensive outfielders in left field. Jake Marisnick fired a bullet to home plate, McCann applied the tag, and the game was over.
For a series that has garnered alot of hype by pitting two of the AL’s best teams against each other, Game 1 did not disappoint. Close, hard-fought games are fun to watch- even moreso when your team comes out on the winning side.