Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Astros Club Yanks, 9-1

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK, April 30- On Monday evening, the Astros of Houston, playing their first game in Yankee Stadium as an American League club and coming off a four-game losing streak, wasted little in getting on the scoreboard.

After Andy Pettitte retired the first two Houston batters in the contest, the next five Astros successfully reached base. Three singled, one drew a walk and Carlos Corporan doubled. When the damage concluded, the visitors had scored three runs, Pettitte, though disappointed, felt the Yankees could still prevail in the contest.

With Coeporan on first and two out in the fourth, back-to-back doubles by Jose Altuve and Brandon Barnes resulted in two additional runs for Houston, bringing the score to 5-0. Pettitte, the veteran left hander, believed the turning point of the game came “on the 0-2 pitch to Barnes and getting it up” for a double. He stated, “It’s frustrating. To give up those five runs and not have a chance made me sick to my stomach.

Additional damage was done in the fifth. Pettitte was removed from the contest with runners on second and third. The new pitcher in the game, Adam Warren, allowed one of the runners to score after he uncorked a wild pitch. Two more crossed the plate on Corcoran’s first home run of the season.

The score at the end of 4 ½ innings was 9-0. The Astros did not score again nor did they need any further runs. The Yankees pushed one run over the plate in the sixth, but it had no effect upon the game’s outcome.

Pettitte’s performance was his least effective of the current campaign. It was his shortest stint (4.1 innings); he gave up the most runs (7) and the most hits (10) in any start this season.

The proud veteran hurler spoke with disgust of his performance, “[It was] just a poor job by me, just a sickening game. I felt pretty good starting the game. I didn’t quite get into the rhythm I wanted to. I can’t remember a game when I completely lost control of it [the cutter]. It [cutter] just didn’t have any bite on it.”

The result for Houston’s starting pitcher , Lucas Harrell, was very different than for Pettitte. The 27 year old gave up eight hits and only one run in 6.1 innings. The win was his third straight. Although his only previous experience versus the Yanks was 0.2 innings of relief in 2010, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was not surprised by what he saw, “He did exactly what we thought he would do.”

Hiroki Kuroda (3-1) will start for the Yanks and winless Philip Humber (0-5) will get the start for the Astros in the second game of the three game set on Tuesday evening.

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