About Last Night: The Yankees Defeated the Astros 6-1
About Last Night: The Yankees Defeated the Astros 6-1
By Tim Kabel
September 4, 2023
The Yankees completed a three-game series sweep against the Astros in Houston last night with a 6-1 victory. This was the fourth time the Yankees swept the Astros in franchise history. The Yankees are still one game below .500 and are in last place but, they swept a series from the defending World Champions and won the season series 5 games to 2. The cynic in me wants to say, “Sure, but what always happens in the playoffs?”
The Yankees will not make the playoffs this year so, they have to take what they can get. This was an impressive series, and the team has been significantly more exciting since they began infusing the lineup with youth. Hopefully, we are witnessing a positive conclusion to a disappointing season.
The Yankees had the best ERA in the Majors in the last week (2.12),
Jasson Dominguez became the fourth player in Yankees’ history to hit two home runs in their first three Major League games. He joins Aaron Judge, Joe Lefebvre, and Yogi Berra.
The ESPN announcers made a big deal about the fact that the fellow who interfered with the fly ball and potentially cost the Astros an out was not evicted from the game. I don't know why anyone was surprised. This was Houston, after all. Where else would someone achieve celebrity status for breaking the rules? Why would Buster Olney run out to interview him? As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “is a puzzlement". The best part of the whole situation was that the fellow called the Houston team “the Asteroids.”
The Yankees swept the Astros for the first time since 2013. They also won the season series 5-2.
Jasson Dominguez became the second Yankees’ player to hit multiple home runs before the age of 21, joining Mickey Mantle. Of course, Mickey did it 36 times.
The Yankees went 7-3 on this road trip.
The Yankees outscored the Astros 17-7 this weekend.
On September 3rd, 1995, the late Tony Fernandez hit for the cycle in a 10-9 loss to the Oakland A's.
The Big Story:
The Yankees will not make the postseason. Brian Cashman was accurate when he described this season as a disaster. The interesting thing about disasters is that they can either destroy you permanently or you can recover from them and grow stronger. The Yankees are showing signs of emerging from the disaster better off than they were at the beginning of the season.
The Yankees have 25 games left this year. If they go 13-12 the rest of the way, they will be at .500, and will avoid a losing season. The Yankees have not had a losing season since 1992. That scenario looks a lot more likely than it did a week ago. Hopefully, they will do even better than that but let's keep the goals realistic.
Players of the Day:
Jasson Dominguez hit a two-run home run to give the Yankees the lead.
Michael King had a dominant outing as a starting pitcher.
Notable Performance -
Gleyber Torres had two hits, including his 24th home run of the season.
Better to Forget-
That Aaron Boone is still the manager. Seeing him in the middle of all the excitement of the youth movement is like looking at your wedding pictures and seeing your annoying co-worker in all the most important ones.
My Take -
It wasn't too long ago that this Yankees' season was dreary and depressing. Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson were essentially regulars on the team. Isiah Kiner-Falefa also played a very prominent role. DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo were struggling tremendously. So was Giancarlo Stanton. When the Yankees left Tampa Bay last Sunday, they were six games under .500 for the season.
At the very least, the Yankees’ youth movement is providing excitement and hope. We have no way of knowing if any of these youngsters will play prominent roles next year and beyond. If I could see the future, I would be buying lottery tickets rather than writing this article. However, at least we have a reason for optimism.
Seeing Oswald Peraza at third base, Everson Pereira in left field, and Austin Wells at catcher is a lot more exciting than seeing Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, and either Kyle Higashioka or Jose Trevino in those same positions. I like Harrison Bader but, would you rather see him or a 20-year-old who looks like he could become someone special in centerfield?
The Yankees could be reaching some decisions about jobs for next season over the next month. By the end of the season, the Yankees could have a definitive blueprint for 2024 and beyond. If they decide to keep Gleyber Torres, which seems more likely with every game, they could have players set at second base, shortstop, third base, catcher, left field, centerfield, and right field. They would need to determine a role for DJ LeMahieu and decide if they should replace Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton.
It is true that a lot of the young players we are seeing are fighting for jobs for 2024. If they are successful, they might not only secure jobs for themselves, but also for Brian Cashman. Cashman described this season as a disaster. He was correct in that assessment. However, if at the end of the season, he can say he developed Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Austin Wells, Clarke Schmidt, Everson Pereira, and Jasson Dominguez to the point that they will be at very least, regular players for the 2024 Yankees, Cashman could rightfully describe the season as a success.
Many Yankee fans are very tired of Brian Cashman, but it was a bold move on his part to bring up all the kids and to have them play. This group of youngsters is not just sitting and watching. They are playing. They are bringing excitement to the team. The fact that they won seven games on the road trip and that they swept the Astros is almost secondary to the fact that they are playing much better as a team and are exciting to watch. I made sure that I was focused on every one of Jasson Dominguez's at bats this weekend. I will say this, he hits the ball very hard when he makes contact. The other kids are fun to watch too. Before the Yankees called up the youngsters and rid themselves of Donaldson, and to a lesser degree, Bader, I was not enthused about watching the games. That has changed. Cashman deserves credit for at least embracing change. That may prevent Hal Steinbrenner from changing general managers.
Next Up -
Tuesday, the Yankees will open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium at 7:05 PM. Gerrit Cole (12-4 2.95 ERA) will face an as-yet unnamed pitcher for Detroit.