After what was likely their worst loss of the season, the Astros exited Yankee Stadium on Thursday night without showing any signs of fear.
Although it was painful to see the Yankees score four times in the bottom of the ninth to secure a victory, the Astros are aware that momentum is just as important as the starting pitcher the following day.
Justin Verlander Ends Yankees’ Home Party
Enter seasoned right-hander Justin Verlander, who accepted the challenge in front of a sold-out crowd on Friday night in the Bronx.
Giancarlo Stanton’s home run gave the Astros a 3-1 victory and ended the Yankees’ 15-game home winning streak as Verlander dominated the Yankees for seven innings.
Verlander stated, “Last night was a painful loss. “It goes without saying that you want to be able to recover from a difficult loss, step up, and assist the team to secure a victory. I was glad I could accomplish it tonight.
With a three-run home run off Luis Severino in the sixth inning, right fielder Kyle Tucker provided the Astros with all the offense they required.
In a string of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees, Houston improved to 3-1.
Tucker added, “Our pitching staff has done an outstanding job throughout the year, and we are confident with whoever is on the field. “When JV is on the mound, he always has high expectations for himself, and so do we.
Every time, he gives us everything he can. We appreciated having him on the mound tonight.
Verlander has improved to 9-3 on the year, going 6-0 in the seven games he’s started right after an Astros defeat. He held the Yankees without a run until Stanton’s home run in the sixth inning and, for the seventh time this year, only surrendered one or no earned runs.
Verlander remarked, “You saw last night, that these guys never give up.” They have a lot of comeback victories for a good cause.
While a rout would be wonderful, these are the kinds of games you would anticipate seeing between two strong teams.
Despite Verlander’s excellent performance, the Astros‘ understaffed bullpen caused them to experience another nail-biting finish.
Rafael Montero fought around a pair of walks in the ninth to retire DJ LeMahieu for the last out with Judge on deck after Phil Maton struck out Aaron Judge, Stanton, and Josh Donaldson in the eighth and left two runners on base.
One thing you have to do against them, according to Astros manager Dusty Baker, plays all 27 outs.
Verlander’s velocity was higher than usual, with all four of his pitches being thrown much harder than his season average. This could have been due to adrenaline or something else. His 64 fastballs had an average speed of 95.5 mph (94.8 mph on the season coming in).
He grinned and replied, “It’s really welcome.
Through the first two innings, Verlander threw 41 pitches, but never more than 17 in any of the following innings. Early on in the count, the Yankees started acting more aggressively, which enabled Verlander to make some pitches that resulted in some quick outs. He made 102 pitches in total.
In the early innings, Baker noted, “He found a rhythm because he had a bunch of near-misses early, which put his pitch count up.
” They were batting in close. You don’t know if forcing him to work was part of their strategy or not.
But he soon got his groove and was constantly pitching ahead. When you have powerful hitters as they do over there, being able to pitch ahead is always important.
Verlander increased his record against the Yankees to 13-8 with a 3.26 ERA in 31 career starts, including 5-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 15 starts at Yankee Stadium.
Since Game 5 of the 2019 American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium, it was his first start against the Yankees.
He didn’t care about the environment or the intimidating opponent on Friday night. Simply put, the Astros needed a win to get back on track, and their ace delivered.
Baker remarked, “This is what you hope for. I’ve said it each time he’s pitched: “This is what the horses do—they break losing streaks and start winning streaks.
Hopefully, this will start a winning streak for us.”