Yanks Go Yard Radio Show Rewind: Yankees-Astros Preview (6/25-6/28)


On last night’s episode of the Yanks Go Yard Radio Show, brought to you by KNODA.com, I started off the episode by talking about the New York Yankees (39-33) disappointing series loss against the Philadelphia Phillies. In the first two games, Michael Pineda and C.C. Sabathia had bad outings and were not able to contain Maikel Franco as the Phillies’ third baseman had ten RBI’s in the first two games, both Philadelphia wins.

However, there were positives to take away from the series. Yesterday, in his first start since April 2014, Ivan Nova threw 6.2 scoreless innings and hit 95 miles per hour with his fastball to pick up the win over Cole Hamels. Plus, Brett Gardner continues to be red hot at the plate. In his last seven games, he is hitting .516 with four home runs and nine RBI’s. The Bronx Bombers went 5-3 on the homestand, but now head out on the road for a seven game road trip, beginning tonight in Houston.

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The Houston Astros (42-32) have been the surprise team in Major League Baseball as they currently have the best record in the American League and they have a four game lead on the Texas Rangers in the American League West. One of the reasons for that success is because they can hit the long ball. Their 107 home runs are the most in the AL (Yankees are second with 98). They have five players on their roster with ten or more home runs, including third baseman Luis Valbuena, who leads the club with 19.

Of course, when you look at A.J. Hinch’s roster, you will find a good mixture of veterans and young prospects. The prospect that is making the most noise right now is shortstop Carlos Correa. The 20-year-old is hitting .300 with four home runs, 12 RBI’s in 16 games. Against the Angels on Tuesday, he went 3-for-6 with a home run and four RBI’s.

On the mound, the Astros are led by their ace, Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel, who will start for Houston tonight against Adam Warren, is 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA and has thrown the most innings (107.1) of any pitcher in the league. While their starters have a collective 4.11 ERA (seventh in the AL), it’s the bullpen that is their strength. Despite losing out on Andrew Miller and David Robertson this winter, the combination of Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek have led Houston to the second best bullpen ERA in the AL (2.61) and the lowest opponents’ batting average (.192).

To get more information on the Astros heading into this four game series at Minute Maid Park, I spoke with Eric Huysman, the co-editor of Climbing Tal’s Hill to get his thoughts on Correa, the Astros’ bullpen, and his take on the FBI investigating the Cardinals allegedly hacking the Astros’ database. Here are more of the topics we discussed:

  • How surprised are fans in Houston about the team’s performance so far
  • First impressions of Carlos Correa
  • Pitching Matchup Breakdown
  • What has been the difference for Dallas Keuchel’s breakout season
  • Adam Warren coming into tonight off eight strong innings against the Tigers
  • Scouting report on Vincent Velasquez (Tomorrow’s Houston starter)
  • Nathan Eovaldi (tomorrow’s Yankees starter) had a good outing vs. Detroit, but does he benefit mostly from the run support?
  • Brett Oberholtzer (Saturday’s Houston starter) giving up no more than three earned runs in his six starts this season
  • Masahiro Tanaka (Saturday’s Yankees starter) trying to rebound after his last start on six days rest
  • Why Collin McHugh’s success Sunday for Houston will depend on how he looks in the early innings?
  • Michael Pineda (Sunday’s Yankees starter) has a ERA of 5.05 on the road this year.
  • Astros Hitters To Watch: Luis Valbuena and Domingo Santana
  • Yankees Hitters To Watch: Brett Gardner and Chase Headley
  • Astros’ strategy at the trade deadline
  • The duo of Gregerson and Neshek helping to carry the bullpen
  • Thoughts on the rest of the AL West


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