It was Old-Timer’s Day at the Stadium, and a good time for all of them, and Mariano Rivera even hit an inside-the-park HR.
But then the regular game started and the law of averages took over. The Yanks (49-28), who had won 8 in a row, were due to lose one, and Houston, who had lost seven in a row, were due to win one.
On top of that, Houston had Justin Verlander pitching.
Unfortunately for the Yanks, they had J.A. Happ going. Happ has been the most disappointing starter this season, and he disappointed again today.
This after being so good (7-0) last year after the Yanks got him in a trade with Toronto … good up until Game 1 of the Division Series against Boston.
Also concerning was that in watching the postgame show, Happ had that look and the answers to questions that looked similar to the look that Sonny Gray had last year. Shellshocked. One of confusion. One that said the pitcher didn’t know what was going on or how to correct it.
And that concerns me. I hope I’m wrong in that assessment. Also, Happ is starting to get booed, much like Gray was last year. Hopefully this isn’t another Sonny Gray scenario.
But Happ has given up 20 HR in just 1/2 a season, and he gave up 3 more today, including one to the first batter of the game, Jose Altuve. Altuve has killed the Yanks.
In the third Altuve got a hustle double and later scored to make it 2-0 Astros.
Happ gave up a grand slam in the fourth. 6-0. He gave up another HR, a 2-run shot in the fifth, 8-0. Luis Cessa came in and gave up a HR to the first batter he faced, 9-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, D.J. LeMahieu hit a 3-run HR (10) to cut it to 9-3. The HR extended the Yanks streak to 26 consecutive games with a HR, breaking the team record, and putting them one behind the all-time record for consecutive games with a HR.
In the eighth, LeMahieu tripled and scored on an RBI groundout by Aaron Judge.
Since coming off the IL, Judge hasn’t got a hit yet. One thing I am worried about is that it is great to get Didi, Hicks, Stanton and Judge back, but it may take each of them a little time to get back in the groove since coming off the IL. None may have their timing down yet.
Nestor Cortes Jr. was brought back to replace the injured Cameron Maybin on the roster.
LeMahieu 3 hits, double shy of cycle, .322, HR and 3 RBI. He had 1/2 of the Yanks’ 6 hits in the game.
Happ (L, 7-4, 5.23) 4+ IP, 8 R, 11 H, 0 W, 2 K. Gave up 3 HR
Cessa 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR. 5.11
Hale 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K. 3.43
Tampa won, Boston lost. So 4 1/2 up on Tampa, 8 on Boston.