It’s a simple story tonight. It’s a story of bats colliding with baseballs with exciting regularity, exciting if you’re an Astros fan, at least.
Jose Altuve, mighty Jose Altuve, hit two more home runs tonight. That’s four in this three game series, and five through the first thirteen games of the season. And guys like me thought it was Correa’s or Bregman’s turn to be MVP.
Here’s #2 tonight
Go ahead and watch all of this one! #TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/7hyKwWwj6L— Houston Astros (@astros) April 11, 2019
But wait, Carlos lit it up tonight too, with a home run of his own, three hits, three RBI, and three runs scored. (Bregs had to sit this one out tonight)
Watch Carlos trot one off.
f r o z e n r o p e #TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/0X6dCfxpED— Houston Astros (@astros) April 11, 2019
Jake Marisnick had three hits, an RBI and a run scored. He is hitting .389.
Every Astro got a hit tonight. Every Astro had fun tonight.
Sixteen hits total for a .444 batting average. Eight of those hits, and five of the runs, came against the old Astros nemesis, newly minted Yankee and losing pitcher James Paxton. The Astros had 28 total bases, 33 counting walks.
Meanwhile Collin McHugh continued to look like, dare I say, the ace of the staff. Heresy, I know, but after (just) three games so far it is true. After surrendering a lead off home run to Brett Gardner, McHugh settled down and allowed only one more run on two hits in the fourth, finishing with nine K’s and only one walk and four hits in six innings. He threw 61 strikes out of 93 pitches, 16 of them whiffs. He struck out Aaron Judge all three times he faced him.
Again McHugh relied on his slider, throwing it 46 times, with only 33 fastballs. Fourteen of his whiffs came on the slider.
40 Seconds of 22 Collin McHugh Sliders from tonight (either called or swinging strikes). pic.twitter.com/7woI0Dmhe6— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 11, 2019
After the Gardner home run in the first, the Astros answered with two runs of their own in the first inning, the first on the first Altuve homer, and the second on a Yuli Gurriel triple on a misplayed ball in center field that scored Carlos Correa, who walked earlier.
The Astros added a run in the third on a Carlos Correa double off the right center field wall that scored Michael Brantley.
The Astros’ biggest inning of the year was the four run fifth, which began with Altuve’s second home run, followed by a Michael Brantley single. Carlos Correa’s second home run of the season scored two more runs, and after Tyler White and Max Stassi hits, Jake Marisnick plated the fourth run of the inning with a line drive single.
This game was a humiliation for the Yankees until the eighth when they showed that you can never count the Bombers out of any game. After a successful seventh inning of relief by Chris Devenski, Josh James was brought in to do mop up work in the eighth. He almost blew the game, allowing four earned runs on two hits, two walks and a home run to Luke Voit, without getting an out.
Hector Rondon doused the flames, getting two outs but allowing inherited runners to score.
Ryan Pressly finished the eighth, and then saved the game in the ninth, allowing a harmless single to Aaron Judge, but striking out three batters and closing out the Yankees to preserve the Astros sweep of the Yankees and the home stand.
Pressly was awesome. Watch.
Ryan Pressly, Filthy 83mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/PsPsFhOEZz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 11, 2019
A Springer RBI single added an insurance run in the eighth, but with Ryan Pressly pitching it proved irrelevant.
Tomorrow our beloved Stros have a well-deserved day off, and then off to battle the white hot, best record in MLB, Seattle Mariners for a weekend series that could make an important statement for either team.
We’ll see you then.