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Yankees Chip Away in Houston with 5-4 Victory



The nerves of New York Yankee fans couldn’t have been any higher the second after Nestor Cortes Jr. gave up a solo shot from Jake Meyers to give the Houston Astros a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second. However, this team is different than last year. 


After a nightmarish start on the road, Cortes settled down, and the Yankees chipped away at an eventual 5-4 victory that showed many encouraging signs. Juan Soto saved the game with a perfect throw from right field to get Mauricio Dubón out at the plate.


Despite the talent the Yankees acquired over the offseason, huge questions remained unanswered. Maybe they haven’t been fully answered yet, but there are certain aspects to build on. 


First, the Yankees’ ability to get on base with many baserunners helped put pressure on the Astros’ pitching staff. Working counts, bloop hits, and sac flies all led to a standout victory without dominating hitting. 


With Soto, Alex Verdugo, and the improvement of Anthony Volpe, the Yankees should see more competitive at-bats, which may aid a struggling power hitter like Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees have veteran talent, youth, passion, and star power, but the biggest question was easily their pitching, specifically their starting rotation. 


According to Jon Heyman, Gerrit Cole announced that he plans to return to the mound on June 1. The Yankees must get through the start of their season without their Cy Young-winning ace. However, Cole’s guidance in the dugout seemed to calm down Cortes, who settled after struggling in the first two innings. Getting length from their starters will be crucial to maintaining the bullpen. 


It’s still not ideal, but if the Yankees consistently produce good at-bats like yesterday, they may overcome their pitching woes. 


While it remains a concern, there is no question that only a little improvement can make a major difference from last year. Marcus Stroman and a healthy Carlos Rodón have the potential to make the rotation great, especially when Cole comes back. However, the depth of their starters and bullpen makes you worry, especially with how quickly the game spiraled early. 


The Yankees deserve credit for their impressive response. It’s a great win to start a season against a team they will see again in more important games. The lineup is better all around, with the potential for bigger and better things. 


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