HOUSTON — Simply put, it was among the most outstanding stretches of pitching for the Astros in current history, and the reality it came throughout a difficult stretch versus the 2 groups with the very best records in the American League and the National League is what made it so impressive.
The Astros got yet another outstanding start, this time from right-hander Luis Garcia, who enabled just a solo homer in 5 1/3 innings of work, and they made a two-run double in the 3rd inning by Alex Bregman defend a 2-1 win over the Yankees on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros, who have actually opened a season-high 11 1/2-video game lead atop the AL West, completed a nine-game stretch versus the 2 New York clubs with a 7-2 record — they went 4-0 versus the Mets and 3-2 versus the Yankees. Houston (48-27) is the only group up until now this year to have a winning record versus the Bronx Bombers (56-21), who are on speed for 119 wins.
“Our pitching and bullpen have done a really good job,” Bregman stated. ”Our catchers have actually done a truly excellent task. They attack the strike zone and keep us on our toes on defense, and we’ve done a great task playing defense, also.”
How excellent was Houston’s pitching throughout the nine-game stretch? The Astros published a 2.21 age and a .162 batting average versus in the 9 video games, that included a combined no-hitter of the Yanks on Saturday. But it was the beginning pitching that set the tone. Houston beginners had a 1.52 age and a .138 batting average versus, permitting 28 hits and 10 made runs (5 homers) in 59 1/3 innings.
“They’ve done a good job of, for the most part, holding us down and … that’s going to happen sometimes against good teams,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone stated. “We’ll gain from all this and ideally acquire crucial info from facing their men. We got to deal with all [five] beginners. Hopefully, we make excellent usage of the experience we obtain from facing them.”
Astros beginners had a nine-game stretch from May 2-11 in which they had a 1.01 AGE, however that came versus the Mariners, Tigers and Twins. Pitching that well versus the Mets and Yankees is another story. And it wasn’t a mishap.
The Astros, starting with their analytics department and veteran catchers Martín Maldonado and Jason Castro, created an excellent strategy that their pitchers performed with near excellence. Houston never ever tracked at any point in the 9 video games, with the exception of the walk-off hits by Aaron Judge on June 23 and Sunday that represented the Astros’ only losses throughout the stretch.
“Maldy followed the game plan a few times and he improvised in need,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker stated. “Whenever you kind of shut their offense down, that’s one of the best offenses around. The pitching was outstanding. The bullpen was very good. The games we lost up there, we didn’t have a fresh bullpen like we had today.”
Prior to each video game, the beginning catcher gets a tactical plan from the analytics team, and he reviews the strategy and hunting report with that day’s starter. The pitchers have actually purchased into the tactical plan totally, and the trust they have in their catchers appears.
“I feel like I’ve been blessed that those guys really believe in me and the work I put in, and they can just focus on executing pitches,” Maldonado stated.
The Astros pitched the Yankees strongly to attempt to restrict strolls and make them beat them with their sticks. While losing, 7-6, on June 23 in New York when the Yankees scored 4 runs in the ninth inning, strolls to Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres by Ryan Pressly preceded a game-tying three-run homer by Aaron Hicks.
“I think we did a pretty good job executing pitches, and the days we didn’t execute, we paid for it,” Maldonado stated. “I feel like playing the Yankees, we’re more laser-focused, including position players and pitchers and including myself.”
Pressly liquidated Thursday’s win with a 1-2-3 ninth and has actually retired all 9 batters he’s dealt with because quiting a walk-off single to Judge a week back, going 3-for-3 in conserve possibilities.
“They’ve got some dudes that can swing it really well over there,” he stated. “It’s a well-prepared team. Every time you face them, you’ve got to come in and execute your pitches and believe in yourself and believe in Maldy and Castro behind the dish. This pitching staff, this series and this whole time in New York, has been unbelievable.”