Friday, May 12, 2017

Slump Alert: Once-Streaking Yankees Have Lost 2 Straight

A 2-game losing streak. Compared to their 20-5 run, the Yankees are now in a slump.

Michael Pineda started last night, in the opener of a 4-game home series against the Houston Astros -- the teams with the 2 best records in baseball. And Pineda gave up a 2-run home run to Carlos Correa in the 1st inning.

That one mistake essentially decided the game. Dallas Kuechel has been a beast so far this season, pitching like he did when he shut the Yankees out in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game. In 6 innings, he allowed only 5 hits and 1 walk.

The Astros made it 3-0 in the top of the 5th. With 1 out in the bottom of the 5th, Chase Headley reached on an error, Didi Gregorius singled, and Aaron Hicks walked to load the bases. Kuechel struck Chris Carter out. He led the National League in home runs last season, but he's in the American League now, and the AL is hard.

Then came the rarest play in baseball: Catcher's interference. The Astros' catcher is Brian McCann, and his mistake allowed the runners to move up and Headley to score. Thank you, Agent McCann. But Kuechel got Gary Sanchez to ground out to end the threat.

In the 6th, Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro singled to put the tying runs on. Kuechel then struck out the side: Aaron Judge, Headley and Gregorius.

The Yankees did threaten in the 9th, against reliever Ken Giles. With 1 out, Hicks drew a walk. Brett Gardner, pinch-hitting for the shockingly useless Carter, struck out. Ellsbury singled Hicks over to 3rd. Ellsbury, the tying run, stole 2nd. Sanchez was up. If he hit one out, the Yankees would've won.

He did as much as we had a right to ask him to do: He singled to left. Hicks scored. Ellsbury came around 3rd, but he was thrown out at the plate. Game over.

Astros 3, Yankees 2. WP: Kuechel (6-0). SV: Giles (10). LP: Pineda (3-2).

The Yankees have cooled off their last 2 games, not only losing but not hitting much. It's their 1st losing streak of at least 2 games since April 8, 2017. That's 34 days. How long has that been?

James Comey was still the Director of the FBI, and seen as a hero by the right wing and a villain by the left. Now, the 1st of those is no longer true, neither is the 2nd, and the 3rd may yet chance. And Bill O'Reilly was still working for Fox News.

Erin Moran, and Jonathan Demme, and Luis Olmo have died. Babies who will one day grow up to be famous, though we don't yet know their names, were born.

The series continues tonight, with Jordan Montgomery starting against Lance McCullers Jr., whose father was a major league pitcher, including for the Yankees.

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