After losing two consecutive games to the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees picked themselves up and put on a solid performance, or maybe it was just Brandn McCarthy doing the pitching, coming up with a 3-0 win, hoping to get some sort of momentum from it in order to somehow make the playoffs.
McCarthy, maybe the best pitcher in the American League since he started throwing for the Yankees, allowed only four hits in his complete game shutout, striking out eight batters. He is now 5-2 with a 1.90 ERA since the Yankees traded for him in early July, quite a huge difference when you compare it to his numbers with the Arizona Diamondbacks before the trade: 3-10, with a 5.01 ERA.
The Yankees didn’t generate too much offense – this team hasn’t changed overnight. They finished with 7-for-29 at the plate, as Mark Teixeira was the only one to get more than one hit (2-for-3). The game was decided in the second inning, with Chase Headley hitting a double that drove Teixeira and Martin Prado home, followed by Ichiro Suzuki hitting a sacrifice fly, putting Headley past home plate.
The Astros, which is surprising for a losing team, got a full, eight inning performance from Dallas Keuchel who did a solid job except for that brief moment in the second inning in which the Yankees finally got on a roll. The Astros come away from this series with two-out-of-three, improving to 54-74, which obviously means nothing for them in terms of the postseason situation, but is one more step towards gaining respectability as a ball club in Major League Baseball.
One of the fastest games of the season, lasting only two hours and seven minutes, it was a rare performance from McCarthy because he didn’t allow a single walk. Keuchel didn’t walk anyone either, making it the first time two pitchers went the distance without walking a single player since Mark Buehrle (White Sox) and Carl Pavano (Twins) went head to head and accomplished that back in 2000.
How does this mean improve things for the Yankees? They’re still nine games behind the Orioles for the top spot in the AL East, something they aren’t likely to achieve in the remaining 37 games. They are only four games behind the Tigers in the Wild Card race and even with a struggling offense and a rotation that hasn’t been exactly stellar since Tanaka went down, the Yankees are still in the picture, and it’s never wise to count them out.