If you like baseball games with loads of good plays, good pitching, and few runs, this one was your kind of game. On Wednesday, the Astros and Mets played a great contest in which Houston came out with the win 2-0 thanks to a ninth-inning home run by catcher Jason Castro. Just like it happened earlier in June, the ‘Stros swept the Metropolitans in a two-game series.
From the beginning to the end, it was a pitching duel between Justin Verlander and Taijuan Walker, both went beyond the seventh inning and didn’t allow any runs. In fact, Verlander surrendered the two hits registered by New York. The veteran righty outpitched Walker to pick up his MLB-leading 10th victory of the campaign.
Verlander was smooth through eight scoreless innings, recording 15 swings and misses, including nine with his fastball and five others with his slider. He gave up just one walk and struck out six. Verlander also lowered his ERA from 2.22 to 2.03 and is clearly aiming at what could be his third career Cy Young.
Newly added outfielder Jake Meyers and second baseman Aledmys Díaz made the plays of the game for the Astros with a diving grab and a nice stop, respectively, as you can see below…
With no outs in the eighth, the Astros had a terrifying episode on the field when shortstop Jeremy Peña and left-fielder Yordan Álvarez suffered an ugly collision in left field while trying to make a catch. After being on the ground for a couple of minutes, Yordan was carted off the field while Peña exited on his own.
Dusty Baker on Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez with the media in New York: “They’re being evaluated by the doctors. Peña said he was okay, of course. Yordan wanted to stay in the game. Yordan’s not a guy you pick to run into and neither is Peña because both of them are well built”— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 29, 2022
The offense was pretty quiet until the late innings. In the eighth, the Astros had a good scoring chance, but Edwin Díaz got out of the jam. It wasn’t until the ninth when Castro –with Kyle Tucker aboard and two down—went yard for the first time in 2022 to lift Houston and help Verlander get the win after 101 pitches.
Go-ahead home run? Just like we Drew it up. pic.twitter.com/dOG7EjpmQQ— Houston Astros (@astros) June 29, 2022
Castro, who went 2-for-4, got to this game hitting for a .095 batting average and with only one run batted in across 33 games and 84 plate appearances. He now has 97 career four-baggers.
Now, the Astros have won 10 of their last 13 games and are looking like the AL juggernaut after sweeping the Mets twice and looking formidable against the Yankees.
Speaking of the Yankees, both teams will play just one game before the Astros head to Anaheim on Friday for a three-game series. Luis García will have the ball on Thursday against Luis Severino.