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.

Photo Courtesy of Say.

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Former Astros pitcher, Mike Fiers, might not have been the right person — but he did the right thing.

Voices on radio and social media are complaining that the Astros were unfairly singled out by Major League Baseball's lowering the boom and suspending manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow in the sign-stealing scandal, followed by team owner Jim Crane firing both of them, preceded by the owner firing the assistant general manager and demoting the team president.

Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was dismissed after he made vulgar comments to female reporters. Astros president Reid Ryan was demoted because, well, that's an owner's prerogative.

I don't understand why anybody in the media or Astros' fan base is furious at Fiers for squealing on the Astros, or Major League Baseball for punishing the Astros so severely. They're screaming, "the Astros got screwed!"

No they didn't.

Don't be angry at Fiers — be angry at the Astros. They cheated. The Astros broke the rules on their way to winning the 2017 World Series. This was after they, and every other team, were warned not to use technology to steal signs.

The Astros aren't denying it. Hinch has apologized for it. Former pitcher Dallas Keuchel said "apologies are in order … for everyone on the team." What's hard to understand what happened? Fiers doesn't have clean hands in this saga. He played for the Astros in 2017, didn't go public about the cheating back then, and took the bonus money and glittery ring for the Astros championship.

None of that changes the facts about the Astros wayward ways. The argument — "everybody does it" — is a weak excuse. Didn't your mother ask, "If Billy jumped off the Empire State Building, would you?" Agent Scott Boras' claim – "the players just did what they were told" – is historically inexcusable. I cheer for the Astros, but I am disappointed that they cheated.

The sad part is, they probably didn't have to. The lineup was loaded with amazing players. I'm also surprised that ESPN announcer Jessica Mendoza and Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez believe this entire cheating scandal should have been dealt with in-house by MLB. That's not how things get accomplished. In-house is how problems get buried. In-house is how problems get fixed with settlements and non-disclosure agreements.

Continue on CultureMap to read why Ken Hoffman believes whistleblowers should be honored.

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