So Lance McCullers is pretty good at pitching. Now I see why the Yankees wanted him when the Astros came around asking about Andrew Miller. He grossly outpitched a shaky Masahiro Tanaka last night to prevent the Yankees from sweeping the series and gaining a game all their major Wild Card competition.
The Yankees got their lone run in the top of the 4th on a Brian McCann solo shot. McCullers left a fastball in a bad spot and McCann was ready for it. Other than, he mostly held the Yankee lineup down over 6 innings. He worked his fastball to both sides of the plate and his curveball was incredible. The Yankee bats couldn't do a thing with it. They could barely make contact with it.
Tanaka was not his usual sharp self last night. He missed off the outside corner to a lot of hitters with all of his pitches, and neither his sinker nor his splitter was working like they usually do. He had to battle through almost every inning and Houston drove him out of the game after 5 innings. Walks and wild pitches turned into RBI singles in the 2nd and 3rd innings, but the big blow was a 2-run homer by Colby Rasmus, who came into the at-bat 0 for his last 29. That made it 4-1 and that was enough for McCullers and the Houston 'pen. Read More
When you're good you're good, and CC Sabathia was good last night. He kept the Houston Astro hitters in check for 6+ innings and watched his teammates beat up on Doug Fister as the Yankees took another one from an AL contender and continued to ruin the plans for Team Sell.
Much like Michael Pineda before him, CC got bit early by the longball. This time it took until the 6th pitch of the 1st, when Marwin Gonzalez clocked one to put Houston ahead 1-0, and it looked like CC was going to be in for a long night. Then he struck out Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis to end the inning, didn't allow another hit until the 5th, and worked into the 7th without giving up another run before Gattis hit a solo shot to lead off that inning.
The 1-0 Houston lead didn't last long. The Yankee lineup struck back for 2 in the top of the 2nd when Brian McCann singled and Mark Teixeira doubled to lead off, and came around to score on a Didi Gregorius sac fly and a Chase Headley single. The Yanks worked Fister hard in the 2nd and in the next inning when they scratched another run across on 2 a pair of singles sandwiched around a walk, and all those early pitches paid off in the 5th.
Fister hit McCann with a pitch to start things off and Teix singled to center to put 2 on with nobody out again. Just a couple of table setters doing what they do, you know? Fister intentionally walked Starlin to load the bases with 1 out, but Headley plated a run with a deep flyout and Aaron Hicks of all people came through with a 2-run triple to right to plate the other 2 and give the Yankees a 5-run cushion.
CC used up a bit of that on the Gattis homer and Anthony Swarzak used up a bit on another solo shot, but once Joe went to his real bullpen it was over. Dellin Betances worked out of a partially self-made jam in the 8th and Andrew Miller was cash money in the 9th. For what feels like the first time in a long time, to me at least, a good CC start was not wasted. Read More