Yanks defy conditions with offensive explosion
With the temperature hovering around 40 degrees and the wind swirling Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, the last thing I expected was an offensive outburst by either team. Yet before the third inning was complete, the Yankees and the Astros had combined to score 17 runs.
The reason, of course, was shaky pitching. After being given a 1-0 lead on Carlos Correa’s first-inning home run off Michael Pineda, Astros starter Collin McHugh could not get through the bottom of the inning. Seven of the eight batters he faced reached base, and all but one scored. The Yankees loaded the bases on catcher’s interference and two walks with a single by Mark Teixeira and a double by Brian McCann sending those runners home.
Even on the one out McHugh recorded, a hard grounder to first base by Carlos Beltran, a run scored. An RBI single by Chase Headley chased McHugh, whose ERA is a hefty 135.00. Starlin Castro, who has already made a favorable impression on Yankees fans, greeted reliever Michael Feliz with a single for the sixth run of an inning in which 12 batters came to the plate and endured for 36 minutes.
If Pineda thought he could coast with a five-run lead, the Astros had other ideas. With two out, Pineda hit Jose Altuve with a pitch that loaded the bases for George Springer, who abruptly made it a one-run game with the first grand slam of his career.
Castro, who drove in two of the Yankees’ three runs in Tuesday’s Opening Day loss, provided Pineda breathing room by belting a three-run home run off Feliz with two out in the bottom of the seacond. Teixeira followed suit in the third as the Yankees stretched their lead to seven runs.