Game 126: HOU vs. NYY — Just not enough, a split home stand, and the 2nd place grimace

Well, this hasn’t been the kind of home stand the Yankees needed or were looking for as the final weeks of the season begin. They ended up splitting the 10-game home stand 5-5 and are currently sitting at just behind the Blue Jays in the standings.

Michael Pineda was activated from the 15-day DL today and started today’s finale against the Astros. And really, he did a pretty good job in his return to the mound until the last bit of his outing. Pineda threw 71 pitches into the 5th inning, giving up 6 hits and a walk, responsible for 5 runs, and striking out 3 Houston batters. A lead-off solo home run in the 2nd broke the scoreless tie that both teams were working for most of the game. Both the Yankees and the Astros were playing a really good game, proof why they both deserve to meet at some point in the postseason.

But in the 5th inning, Pineda just ran out of gas. Two singles put runners on the corners, a bunted single scored a run, and a walk loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly scored another run, and it was time to end Pineda’s day. He trudged off the mound, responsible for the 3 runs on the board and the 2 runners on 1st and 3rd.

Chasen Shreve tried to keep things under control, but he wasn’t as sharp as he usually is either. A single scored another run before a walk loaded the bases. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, scoring another run (all 4 runs scored that inning were charged to Pineda). After a strikeout and a dramatic ejection to the Astros’ batter for arguing said strikeout, a pop out ended the Astros’ rally. Branden Pinder came in for the 6th and 7th inning and kept the Astros from finding another rally.

The Yankees were still looking at the zeros on their side of the scoreboard, but they changed all that up in the 7th inning. I should clarify that the Astros do have a very good starting rotation, all three of their starters gave the Yankees a really hard time this series. So Bird led-off with a walk. And it would be Didi Gregorius to find that perfect pitch to hit the ball into the 2nd deck right field seats for a 2-run home run, his 6th home run of the season. It got the Yankees on the board and kept them alive.

A pop out allowed the Astros’ starter to end his outing with at least one out that inning, but the Astros bullpen kept the door fairly closed for the rest of the game. The Yankees got a few on base periodically but couldn’t do much to push a run across the plate to add to their trailing score.

Adam Warren’s 8th inning’s sole issue was a monster solo home run into the bleachers above the visitor’s bullpen to move the Astros from a save situation to a solid win. Nick Goody kept the Astros scoreless in the 9th, but the damage was done.

Final score from the Bronx: 6-2 Astros, Astros take series 2-1.

The Revolving Door: After yesterday’s game, Michael Pineda was activated from the 15-day DL to pitch today, Nick Rumbelow was optioned back to AAA, and Nick Goody was recalled. Goody was then optioned back to AAA after the game today. And Chris Capuano has been designated for assignment once again.

In the last month, Capuano has been DFA’d 4 times and recalled 3 times. And with the September call-up simply days away, I’d be willing to bet we’ll see #26 back in the bullpen before you can blink. Capuano’s recent time line: 7/29: DFA, 8/12: Recalled, 8/15: DFA, 8/18: Recalled, 8/22: DFA, 8/24: Recalled, 8/26: DFA. And I thought I traveled and lived out of a suitcase a lot.

The Yankees head south to Atlanta for a weekend series against the Braves, where they will meet several former teammates now playing for the 1990’s rival. Then they’re up to Boston to face their long-time rivals in Fenway. An off-day and then another 10-game home stand against division rivals to kick off the final push before October baseball. It’s going to be an interesting new few weeks.

Go Yankees!

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