Monday, April 29, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Astros 9, Yankees 1
By Wallace Matthews
The New York Yankees played four excellent games against the Toronto Blue Jays and a stinker Monday night against the Houston Astros. Go figure. As the man says, "You know, Suzyn "
What it means: That on any given Sunday or Monday, for that matter anyway, the Astros came in arguably the worst team in baseball at 7-18 and the Yankees arguably among the hottest at 15-9 and working on a four-game winning streak. So whaddaya know? The Stros jump all over them early, the Yankees never get into the game, and the result is the worst loss of the young season, a 9-1 trouncing. The less said about this one, the better, but here goes:
Well, at least he didn't get hurt: The last time Andy Pettitte had this bad a day at Yankee Stadium, he was helped off the field with a broken leg. He got one more out Monday than he did that day, but at least he left that game with a 2-1 lead. In this one, Pettitte had nothing from the first inning, when he allowed three runs on an RBI single and a two-run double. The Astros added two more in the fourth and two more off Pettitte before his night ended with one out in the fifth. Statistically, it was Pettitte's worst outing since July 31, 2008, when he gave up nine earned runs in 5-1/3 innings to the Angels.
Corporan punishment: Astros catcher Carlos Corporan came into the game with nine hits and one RBI all season. Monday, he went 4-for-4, hit a home run and knocked in a career-high four runs. But his night was not perfect; on Jose Altuve's seventh-inning single, Corporan apparently injured himself rounding second and hobbled toward third, where he was easily thrown out by Brett Gardner. He toughed it out and stayed in the game.
Worm killers: With Lucas Harrell's two-seamer dropping like a brick in a bathtub, the Yankees did not hit a ball in the air for the first 5-1/3 innings. Even worse, they grounded into three double plays in the first four innings, erasing three of their first four baserunners.
No E in Nuni: Suddenly, Eduardo Nunez looks to be much improved at shortstop. He made two beautiful plays on Wednesday against Tampa Bay. On Monday, his neat glove-hand flip to Robinson Cano, who barehanded it, started a 6-4-3 DP in the second.
Plonk! Harrell plunked Pronk, aka Travis Hafner, leading off the second inning. Hafner was fine; the ball might have been bruised a little.
Broken-field running: Hafner put a nice move on second baseman Altuve to avoid a tag on Brennan Boesch's grounder, but his lack of speed got him thrown out at second anyway on a rarely seen 4-3-6 DP in the second.
Welcome to the bigs, Austin Romine: And meet your trainer, Stevie Donohue. The Yankees' young catching prospect got his first start of the season since being called up to replace Francisco Cervelli. Romine not only went hitless, he got nailed by a fastball on the hip in the seventh inning. Not a fun debut.
Vidal statistics: LHP Vidal Nuno also made his season and MLB debut, coming into the seventh inning to replace Adam Warren, who replaced Pettitte. Nuno did well, with three scoreless innings, four hits and two strikeouts.
What's next: Game 2 against the Astros, Hiroki Kuroda (3-1, 2.79) vs. RHP Phil Humber (0-5, 7.99), first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Marchand the Magnificent will have all the info as soon as the clubhouse opens at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday.