Unequal Contest Becomes Worst Nightmare–until It Doesn’t; Houston Pitcher Stunned into Self-Punishment

By 0 Permalink 0

Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Wednesday, May 2.

A grand old man of baseball said, in a 162-game season the worst team will win 54 games, the best team will lose 54 games.  what you did with the 54 remaining games made the difference. I don’t know how they figure odds in Vegas or Atlantic City.  All I know is, before last night’s Yankee game in Houston I was one of millions of Yankee fans who assumed this would be one of the Yankees’ 54 necessary losses. Justin Verlander, who has bedeviled the Yankees since before anybody knew the name Barak Obama, was the starter on the night after his colleague Charlie Morton had shut the Yankees down.  Verlander was almost as good as a pitcher can be. He retired the last 16 men he saw and finished the game with 14 strikeouts but didn’t get a win for his trouble.  The Yankees’ situation deteriorated in an instant in the last of the first.  7 pitches in, Jordan Montgomery was forced out of the game with tightness in his elbow, one of the two worst feelings a pitcher can have. (the other is shoulder pain.)  So there the Yankees were without a starting pitcher against one of the league’s best. Rookie Domingo German was the Yankees’ first responder in time of pitching crisis.  He pitched 4 quiet innings while

Montgomery sat by and plans were made to fly him back to New  York to be examined. Since German’s tour de force kept   the game scoreless, the Yankees bull pen was able to leave crisis mode and go back to its normal framework.  Chad Green worked the 6th, Dellin Betances did the same in the 7th and David Robertson kept the game scoreless in the 8th.  The Astros were the first to flinch.  Ken Giles, who the Astros got from the Phillies to be the stud in their bull pen was in trouble from the start in the 9th inning. Aaron Judge singled and Didi Gregorius doubled, and the two stood by on second and third. Giancarlo Stanton struck out, and the Astros rolled the dice hoping that Giles could outwit young slugger Gary Sanchez. The very first pitch was a hanging slider.  Giles knew his slider was heading for another area code as it left his hand.  He smacked himself in the face as the ball soared into the Texas night. Aaron Hicks later scored a 4th run on a wild pitch.  The losing pitcher, having already punched himself in frustration then went ballistic in his dugout in a display worthy of a sandlot. The win was the first in 8 tries in Houston for the Yankees, counting last year’s postseason. All told they’ve won 10 of 11, only being stopped for keeps by Charlie Morton. Verlander had once struck out 14 Yankees back in 2012 when he was with the Tigers.  6 years later he tied his career best, giving up just 3 hits and walking nobody in 8 innings.  He’s 13–1 since joining the Astros at the end of August. As for the Yankees’ starter, Montgomery is almost certain to land on the DL. As of now, Domingo German is scheduled to fill Montgomery’s slot.  I had the pleasure to meet German among others at a 2017 AA game of he Yankees’ Trenton Thunder team. It appeared that he understood my very limited Spanish when I wished him good luck.

The Yankees needed to win because Boston managed to lose their game at Fenway against the Royals. Jorge Soler joined the Royals when they traded closer Wade Davis to the Cubs to get him.  Last night he jacked a 3-run home run in the top of the 13th, powering his team to a 7-6 win. By that time the Red Sox were in the depths of their bull pen using Brian Johnson, a former starter with little to show on his record. The visitors had been behind as early as the 6th inning.  Alex Gordon tied the contest at 3 in the 9th and the Royals took a 4-3 lead 3 innings later. Eduardo Nunez took one over the green monster in the home half, knotting the game at 4.

That set the stage for Soler’s show-stopping shot in the 13th. Although the Sox rallied gamely, they were stopped a run short in the home half of the 13th.

0

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.