The Runner Sports

Pinstripes Taken To The Cleaners: Astros Take Series From Yanks

Sunday, May 14, was a day the New York Yankees honored Jeter. No, not Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman‘s dog (or his other one, Koufax, for that matter), but longtime Yankee legend, Derek Jeter. The very same Derek Jeter the Astros passed on in the 1992 draft to select Phil Nevin first overall, before The Captain went #6 to the Pinstripes.

Related: ‘Stro Wars: Shattered Empire: The Blight of the Astros’ ’13 Draft

Sunday, before a crowd of 48,000, the Yankees split a doubleheader (made necessary due to Saturday’s rainout), preventing a four-game sweep by the visiting Astros.

In fact, it was the very same Bregman (who wears #2 partly due to his boyhood Jeter fever) who helped to bury New York, in the nightcap, with his first home run of the season; a grand slam that followed solo shots by leadoff hitter, George Springer, and Josh Reddick, his 5th. George hit a second Springer dinger in the 2nd (his 9th), as Houston hit four home runs in the first two innings to build an early 8-0 lead, hanging on to their way to a 10-7 victory. At 26-12, the Astros have the best record in baseball.

All this offense came against Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who exited the nightcap after 1.2 innings, having given up 7 hits and 8 earned runs, the first time in his career he’s yielded as many as 8 runs in a game (previous high, 7). The last time he gave up 4 homers in a game was last September 21 at Tampa Bay, in a game he ended up winning, 11-5, as those 4 HRs were solo shots.

Meanwhile, Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (5-2, 3.97) wheeled and dealt, with a fastball in the upper 90s, striking out seven straight Yankees at one point. He came within one K of matching the franchise record for eight consecutive strikeouts in a game (Jim Deshaies, September 1986 vs. the Dodgers, and Don Wilson in July 1968 against the Reds).

Sunday’s 1st Game

In topping Houston, 11-6 in the day’s opener (with the help of a 6-run 7th), the Yanks put a halt to the Astros’ five-game winning streak. In stark contrast to the day’s second game, Houston hit 9 singles in that first Sunday game.

Series’ 2nd Game

Friday, the Astros prevailed over New York, 5-1, as the former Yankee catcher haunted his old team. Over the past three seasons, no player has hit more homers into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium than Brian McCann. He planted a 3-run blast there to stake Houston to a lead never relinquished.

McCann’s 6th tater of the season produced that early pad for Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr., who limited the Yankees to four hits over six scoreless innings, striking out seven.

Series’ Opener

In Thursday’s series opener, Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel continued his recent mastery of the Yankees, and Jake Marisnick threw out the potential tying run in the 9th inning, preserving the Astros’ 3-2 victory.

When all is said and done, Alex Bregman gets to go home, now, and share a treat with Jeter (the dog, not the man), while the Yankees wish Jeter (the man, not the dog) could’ve changed his beautiful blue pre-game suit into a pinstripe uni for the doubleheader capper.

Brad Kyle

Brad Kyle

Here I am, meeting with Nolan Ryan at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX. One of us is trying to convince the other to take his 90 mph fastball, and get back into the game.

Needless to say, I've decided to spend my golden years, instead, crooning Sinatra at nursing homes, while reflecting on a life well-lived in the classroom, spinning rock'n'roll in '70s radio stations, and peddling wax in the record biz.

I'm a Houston native, having attended 'Stro games in Colt Stadium, the beloved Astrodome, and Minute Maid.

Join me at TRS for full Astros coverage, minor league peeks, player profiles, interviews, MLB historical perspective, and surprises!
Brad Kyle