The Houston Astros knew they would have a battle on their hands when they came into the Bronx to face the New York Yankees in a three-game series. The last time these two teams met was in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, in which Jose Altuve hit the game-winning home run that sent the Astros to their third World Series in team history. Since then, there has been a sign-stealing scandal and questions about whether or not there was a “buzzer” worn when Altuve hit that home run, which has yet to be proven. The Astros battle in the Bronx was one to remember.
Astros Battle In The Bronx: Yankees Fans
The Astros knew what they were getting into when the series against the Yankees appeared on the calendar. It wasn’t the Yankees that they were worried about; it was their fans. Yankees fans are one of the most passionate fan bases in all of Major League Baseball, and they are not afraid to voice their frustrations, especially when they feel that one of their best players was snubbed out of a potential MVP award back in 2017.
Coming into game one of the series, the Astros would send Zack Greinke to the mound. Greinke entered game one with a record of 2-1 and 3.44 ERA. The Astros got on the board early in the top of the first inning when Alex Bregman hit a solo home run to left field. That lead would not last long as Greinke would give up three runs, including a two-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton. The Astros would tie the game in the fourth inning on a couple of runs, one being a Michael Brantley home run. Greinke would settle in and go three scoreless innings until he was removed in the fifth inning. The Yankees would take the lead in the sixth inning in wild turn of events that would end in collision at home plate between Astros catcher Martin Maldonado and Yankees second baseman Rougned Odor. The Yankees would not look back as they would go on to win, 7-3.
Game Two, Astros Offense Struggles
The offense for the Astros struggled in the second game of the series. The Astros sent Luis Garcia to the mound, and he was phenomenal, going 4.2 innings, striking out eight. His only blemish was giving up a two-run home run to Stanton. The Astros could not seem to get things going at the plate, managing only to score three runs. Some questionable decisions of that of Astros manager Dusty Baker would play a part in this loss. After Garcia was pulled from the game, Baker elected to bring in Ryne Stanek in relief. Stanek has been the go-to guy this season, and bringing him in so early when he is better suited as a late reliever was the turning factor of the game. The bullpen would go on to give up three runs as the Yankees would go on to take game two of the series, 6-3.
Game Three, Astros Bats Wake Up
The final game of this three-game series matched Lance McCullers Jr against former Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez had been quiet at the plate but woke up to hit not one, but two home runs off Cole. On his 31st birthday, Jose Altuve finally got in on the action as he belted a three-run home run to silence the Yankees crowd. Martin Maldonado had been struggling offensively and overcame his struggles by blasting a two-run home run, which extended the lead for the Astros. Ryan Pressly would come into the game into the eighth inning to secure the six-out save, and the Astros would avoid the sweep by taking game three, 7-4.
The Astros finished off the six-game road trip with a record of 3-3. After the Astros battle in the Bronx, they return home to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, May 7. The Blue Jays will be without George Springer, who was recently placed on the 10-day IL. The pitching matchups for this series will be:
- Game One: Jose Urquidy (2-2, 3.71 ERA) vs. Ross Stripling (0-1, 6.39 ERA)
- Game Two: Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (4-2, 4.78 ERA)
- Game Three: Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76) vs. TBD
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