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.
- Didi had 2 hits and McCann had the homer. The rest of the team went 2-24.with 13 strikeouts.
- The Astros' big 3 of Giles, Gregerson, and Harris blew the Yankees away in the final 3 innings. No hits, 5 strikeouts. The Yankees struck out 15 times as a team.
- Nice return debut for Adam Warren, who pitched a scoreless 6th inning in relief of Tanaka. We also got to see Luis Severino out of the 'pen for the final 2 innings and he looked pretty good. Fastball 95-96, slider in the high 80s and dropping out of the zone. I'm not sure why they would want him to work as a reliever, but we'll see how the Yankees handle him over the next few weeks.