- Tim Kabel
About Last Night: The Yankees Lost to the Astros 3-1
By Tim Kabel
June 25, 2022
The Yankees played the second of a four-game series against the Houston Astros last night. The game had a playoff feel to it. At least that’s how it sounded on the radio. Yes, it was another Friday night special. The game was broadcast on Amazon, which meant that the audio cut out repeatedly and the screen froze. At one point, I was staring at Justin Verlander for three minutes. That would have been lovely if I were Kate Upton but alas, I am not. So, I spent yet another evening with John and Suzyn. I might have to drag out the rabbit ears and put them on my TV. John regaled us with an anecdote about seeing Giancarlo Stanton on the team bus. John observed that Stanton was heavily muscled. Gee, who knew? Later, Suzyn was discussing the fact that it was “Nasty Nestor” night and the Yankees distributed t-shirts and fake mustaches. John exclaimed to Suzyn that he saw “an old woman with a mustache.” My head spun from the number of jokes that came to me.
Luis Severino pitched against Justin Verlander and for the most part, it was as good as advertised, that is, up until Kyle Tucker’s home run. Last night, Verlander was better than Severino. The Yankees still had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. They had the tying run in the on-deck circle. You can’t win them all and even a loss can be a good and exciting game.
Please forgive me for a moment. My son, Jack, pitches for the Norwich Sea Unicorns in the Futures Collegiate League. Last night, he pitched against the Broxton Rox. I was able to see the transcript of the plays as they happened while I listened to John and Suzyn. Jack pitched six innings in relief, and gave up three singles, no runs and no walks. He had 12 strikeouts. Among the strikeout victims were the sons of David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Gary Sheffield.
13 of the Yankees’ 19 losses have been by two runs or fewer.
The Yankees are 8-3 so far in this 13-game stretch against the elite teams in the league.
With his two home runs in the past two nights, Giancarlo Stanton broke his tie for career home runs with Joe DiMaggio, Stanton now has 363 home runs and is in 84th place for his career. He is signed through at least the 2027 season. How many do you think he will hit?
The Yankees’ 15-game home winning streak came to an end. Time to start a new one.
The Big Story:
The Yankees lost last night, but it was not one of those losses that will eat away at you. Although it seems like they are going to win every night, that will just not happen. Even historic teams lose games. The Astros are a tough team, and Justin Verlander will be in the Hall of Fame. As noted above, the Yankees still had a chance to win in their last at-bat. So, we just move on. Like Scarlett O’Hara said, “Tomorrow is another day.”
Player of the Game:
Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run for the second game in a row.
Miguel Castro is bouncing back from his rough outing on Sunday.
Better to Forget:
The offense left 15 runners on base.
Last year, the Yankees were a streaky team. They were also very unpredictable. They could have tremendous winning streaks that would be followed by baffling skeins of losses. They did not appear to be any rhyme or reason to their success or failure. For the most part, they were not very resilient and although they sometimes showed fight, it was not their trademark. This year's team is completely different.
When the 2022 Yankees lose a game, it is not usually something that makes you scratch your head or want to pull your hair out in clumps. It is frequently a game that could have very easily become a win if things had broken slightly differently. That is the hallmark of a championship team. The Yankees are the only team that has not yet lost 20 games. Most teams have already lost at least 30 games. The problem with being as good as this team is that it is shocking when they lose. The realistic goal isn't to win every game, it's to win the great majority of your games. Winning series is the key to a successful season. The Yankees are doing that. There is no reason to suspect that this trend will not continue.
Aroldis Chapman and Domingo German are pitching in rehab games and could easily join the team fairly soon. Whatever role they assume, it will be a plus to have them there. I suspect that Clark Schmidt will be back shortly. Jonathan Loaisiga has not begun minor league rehab games but could do so in the near future. I also anticipate that the Yankees will acquire another player or two as they approach the August 2nd training deadline. That is only about five weeks away, and I believe they will strengthen the team in some fashion. They always do. Or at least, they attempt to do so. Last year, they brought in Wandy Peralta, Clay Holmes, Anthony Rizzo, and Joey Gallo. While Gallo hasn't worked out, the others have. In fact, Joey Gallo may be headed elsewhere fairly soon. There are just certain players who don't do well in New York. He appears to be one of them.
The Yankees still have the best record in baseball and do not appear likely to go into a major swoon. They split the first two games of this series with Houston but, considering they have Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes pitching on Saturday and Sunday, you have to like their chances. This season, you have to like their chances any time they take the field.
Next Up -
Today, the Yankees continue the series against the Astros at home at 1:05 PM. Houston's Christian Javier (4-3 3.07 ERA) will face Gerrit Cole (6-1 3.14 ERA).