Today the Astros avenged the accumulated frustration and helplessness accrued from seven consecutive losses, the most since 2017.
Nine runs, four home runs, a grand slam, 14 hits, a .750 BA with runners in scoring position after going 7-53 in the preceding six games. The Astros fly home tonight knowing that they can beat the Yankees’ best, in their house, without half their core.
There seemed to be just a bit of anger in their repeated hammer blows this afternoon, and just a little more snap in the catcher’s mitt coming from every Justin Verlander fastball.
Verlander was dominant today, allowing only four hits, two walks while striking out nine Yanks. He did lapse a bit in the fifth inning, allowing two singles if front of a DJ LaMahieu, cheapie, Yankee stadium right-field homer. Besides that, this is what Verlander did to the Bombers from the Bronx today.
The Astros went into attack mode right away. Lead off hitter Jose Altuve started the game with a 401 foot mash to the second deck in left field, his tenth of the year and first since April. It was the first run the Astros had scored in the first inning since June 14th.
He’s baaaaack. Besides turning on that pitch like the old Altuve, later he stretched a routine single to center into a double with pure speed and hustle. Great news. A truly resurgent Astros will need a productive Altuve.
Altuve scored after said double in the third on a Michael Brantley sharp line drive to center. But it was in the fourth that the Astros sharks began to circle for the kill. After consecutive singles by Yuli Gurriel, Robinson Chirinos, and Josh Reddick, Tyler White devoured the Yankees on this day with one blow, 372 feet to right field, his first grand slam, in fact, his first career hit with the bases loaded.
Here’s the slam.
Good for you Tyler White. After a monster second half of last season, expectations were high for White this season. To say he has been a disappointment would be an understatement. But the Astros have been patient, (and injured) and it looks like the Shark’s teeth are shining pearly white again.
Tyler White. A man who knows he may have just saved his season after the grand slam. pic.twitter.com/0q14Ry8FVK— William Metzger (@wmetzger2) June 23, 2019
In the fifth the Cuban missiles were sent in to finish the Bombers. It started with a Michael Brantley single, making this his 33rd multi-hit game this season. And then the 21 year-old masher from Cuba, yeah the new kid named Alvarez, did his job, crushing one 409 feet into the right field second deck of Yankees Stadium.
After 12 games, Alvarez is batting .333, with a 1.242 OPS. He is only the third player in MLB history to hit seven home runs in his first 12 games.
Just for emphasis, Yuli connected for a dinger of his own following Alvarez, concluding the Astros’ scoring for the day.
Justin Verlander finally got his 10th win today, and J. A. Happ took the loss, allowing eight runs in four innings. His season ERA jumped from 4.59 to start the game, to 5.23 at its conclusion. Whadaya wanna bet the Astros and Yankees are going to be competing in the open market for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.
Tomorrow a much needed day off for the Astros before taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates at home Tuesday.
Box score and videos HERE.