Yankees overpower Houston on both sides of the ball

Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: Astros drop ALCS Game 1 with a disappointing performance

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images


After being taken to a winner-take-all Game 5 with the Rays which they would win to advance, the Astros had a quick turnaround to start the ALCS with the Yankees in Game 1. New York had a chance to watch Houston's ALDS unfold after sweeping the Twins in three games.

In ALCS Game 1, it would be all Yankees as their potent offense would overpower Houston's pitching, and also overwhelm the Astros' batters with a terrific start from Masahiro Tanaka before their bullpen finished a 7-0 shutout win to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Yankees 7, Astros 0.

Series: Yankees lead 1-0.

Winning Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka.

Losing Pitcher: Zack Greinke.

Tanaka outduels Greinke in a pitcher's duel

After three innings of overpowering pitching from both starters, the Astros and Yankees went into the middle innings scoreless. Zack Greinke had only yielded one hit over that span but would allow his second to start the top of the fourth, a leadoff single by DJ LeMaheiu. LeMaheiu moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a one-out RBI-double by Gleyber Torres to put New York up 1-0.

The Yankees would threaten again in the top of the fifth with back-to-back one-out singles, but Greinke would work out of it to keep it a one-run game. Masahiro Tanaka meanwhile was winning the pitcher's duel by allowing just one hit through the first four frames. The Astros put a runner on with a leadoff walk by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the fifth, but he would get doubled up by straying too far from first base on a flyout, erasing Houston's chances of a run that inning.

Gleyber Torres would strike again in the top of the sixth, getting a one-out solo home run off of Greinke to extend New York's lead to 2-0. Giancarlo Stanton was next to tack on to the lead for the Yankees, getting a two-out solo home run to make it 3-0. Though he would finish that inning still with a relatively manageable pitch count, AJ Hinch would not task Greinke with going any further. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K , 2 HR.

Torres keeps driving in runs

Ryan Pressly was the first reliever to take the mound for Houston, but after two quick outs would fall victim to New York's offense with three-straight singles to load the bases before Gleyber Torres would get his fourth RBI of the night with a two-run single to blow the game open at 5-0. Josh James would come in to get out three to finish the inning.

The Yankees would also make a move to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh, bringing in Adam Ottavino to try and keep the top of Houston's lineup from getting the Astros on the board. Despite an error that would give the Astros their first big scoring chance of the game, a double play would end their chances.

Houston shutout in Game 1

James would stay on the mound for the top of the eighth to try and keep the score pat and did so with an impressive 1-2-3 inning. Zach Britton would come into the game for New York in the bottom of the eight and was able to erase a one-out walk by Houston to keep the shutout alive.

Houston would give Bryan Abreu a chance to pitch in the ALCS by taking over for James in the top of the ninth. He was met with a solo home run before later in the inning Gleyber Torres would get a fifth RBI on an RBI-groundout to make it 7-0. Abreu would continue to be hit around, resulting in a move to Hector Rondon to get the third out. Houston would come up empty for yet another inning in the bottom of the ninth, suffering a shutout loss at home to start the ALCS and put New York up 1-0 in the series.

Up Next: ALCS Game 2 from Minute Maid Park will be Sunday at 7:08 PM Central. The Astros will get Justin Verlander a start on regular rest, looking to get back on track after his disappointing outing in ALDS Game 4. The Yankees will counter with James Paxton, who went four and two-thirds innings while allowing three earned runs in his start against the Twins in ALDS Game 1, which the Yankees would win.

The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

- William Shakespeare

You might wonder why there is a puppy picture on a story about the Astros scandal. This little beauty is my Dalmatian, Dynamo. Why is she here? To distract you. To dazzle you. Who doesn't love a puppy picture? Who cares if it has anything to do with the story? She made you look.

And the point is...

Sadly, that is the role of the media these days. Please listen to my rant. Please click on my story. Who cares if the headline isn't accurate? None of that matters. Look at me! I need likes and retweets!

The Astros cheating scandal is the latest story to be overblown, overanalyzed and overexposed. Why? Page views. Ratings. A failing media.

Exploring every angle

None of that is meant to excuse the team. Let's be honest; the Astros cheated. They will be punished, and they should. Draft picks, fines, suspensions. All are possible, and whatever they get is probably warranted.

And that is where the story should end. But that is not what the world is about anymore. It has to be endlessly debated. Pictures of a laptop on a table become the Zapruder film. There HAS to be a conspiracy. Every detail has to be debated. Which side you come down on depends on your biases.

Stupid takes

Some have even said the Astros should be stripped of their World Series title. This isn't college. It's a dumb, look at me take. It will never happen. This is not Avengers: Endgame where you can enter the quantum realm and change the past. It is real life, where events can't be changed. Did the cheating help them win? Who knows? You still have to hit the ball, even if you know what is coming. And it did not make a difference for the Astros pitchers. And harkening back to the steroid era, how do you know the other teams did not do it too and just did not get caught?

The big argument about PEDs was "oh, look at the big numbers the hitters put up." But how do you know the pitchers weren't doing it, too? The same goes here.

Truth is, you don't know. Which is why results can't and shouldn't be changed. Period. To suggest it is just dumb.

More stupid takes

On the Astros fan side, the defenses are just as silly. "They did nothing wrong. Where is your proof? Why aren't there other players coming forward?"

As an aside, let's not leave out the great misleading phrases. "Due diligence." (In other words, we know this is a bad idea, but we want to sound like we know what we are doing). "Witch hunt." (Yes, I am guilty, but this is how I deflect it).

As another aside, if you find an actual witch on your hunt, let me know. I always wanted to meet one.

They cheated. Period. And they will be punished. But the point is not that at all. It's to find every possible angle to get people to read and react. To care more about something than we should, when there are far more important things we should be riled up about. But you are being told to care, so you will keep clicking. It's the new normal, where reporters make themselves the stories and insert themselves into it. And that's why they turn stories like this into major issues. For their own benefit.

Nothing new

This is just the latest media distraction. The Patriots deflated balls saga was the most overplayed, overanalyzed scandal in sports history. Why was it so important? Because hot takes, web sites and analysts told us so. Many hinted at even bigger conspiracies. Why? Because we are a society dazzled by puppies.

Just this past weekend, the entire Colin Kaepernick story was over reported from all sides. The NFL was just doing a PR move. He just wants to be a martyr.

The NFL's waiver was broken down word by word.

Over a guy who hasn't played in three years.

The reason? He gets page views and clicks. And ratings. We keep getting told how important every aspect of the story is to our lives. In truth, it's just another distraction, a false narrative created to keep us dazzled and up in arms. Do we really care about these things? And if we do, what the hell is wrong with us?

Just like the Astros scandal. Is it a bad look? Of course. Are they guilty? Sure looks like it. But punish them and let's move on. We get it. They banged trashed cans. But punishment is never enough. People have to post pictures that might be something. Videos that might be something. Emails that might be something. Add it all up and it doesn't make things any worse. It just creates talking points. And people wonder why so many people consider the media - and social media, as the lines are completely blurred - "fake news."

In the end...

It's not fake news. It's misguided attempts to to keep us coming back for more. And too many of us fall into the trap. We are too distracted by everyone telling us these things are so important that we keep clicking. It takes on a life of its own, and then any theory is possible. Any conspiracy is possible. So we keep reading and digging and we are immersed in it. Look at this! Click on me! In a few weeks the Astros will be the most evil organization that ever lived and should be disbanded. And some of you will believe it and buy in, because that's how distractions work. And once we are distracted? We can believe anything.

Hence the picture of Dynamo. To distract you. By the way, did you notice one of her spots looks like Mickey Mouse? Let the Disney conspiracy begin. We shall start our own tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.

And we all know what that signifies.

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