This game had you wondering about a lot of things.
You wonder how badly Jordan Montgomery’s elbow is. He had to be pulled after a 1-2-3 first inning and only seven pitches because of tightness in his pitching elbow.
You wonder if he needs TJ surgery and will be lost for the season.
You wonder who would replace him.
You wonder if Domingo German, based on how he pitched last night, would be the replacement.
You wondered when the Yanks would ever score on Houston pitching.
You wondered how long the bullpen could keep the game at zero.
You wondered why the Astros pulled Justin Verlander.
You wonder why the heck the Astros pitched to Gary Sanchez with first base open.
In a game that featured 28 strikeouts, Sanchez’ 3-run HR broke it open in the top of the ninth and the Yanks won 4-0. They are now 19-10 and 2 games behind Boston.
Montgomery, as noted above, lasted just one inning and the Yanks had to piece the rest of the game together from their bullpen. They were brilliant. They had to be. The Yanks, who entered the game having scored just five runs in their last six games in Houston, couldn’t touch Justin Verlander. Verlander pitched eight scoreless innings, gave up just 3 hits, and struck out 14.
But going into the top of the ninth, it was still scoreless. Aaron Judge led off with a single off of Astros’ closer Ken Giles. Didi doubled, but Stanton struck out. You figured that Sanchez would be walked in order for the Astros to set up a possible inning-ending DP. Nope. They pitched to the Kraken, and Sanchez hit the first pitch 423 feet for a 3-run HR, his eighth of the season.
Hicks then singled, and after a pitching change, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a WP.
Montgomery goes back to NY for tests today and we await the results.
The Yanks had seven hits, two by Didi, two by Sanchez, and struck out 15x.
Yankees’ pitchers struck out 13 themselves.
Big win. Bigger loss (Montgomery)?
Montgomery 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.62
German 4 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 W, 4 K. 3.77
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.93
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. 4.50
Robertson (W, 2-1, 2.93) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.38
Update: A.J. Cole, just acquired from the Nats, and who got into one game in relief for the Yanks, could also be a candidate to start in place of Montgomery, but I prefer German.