Lost in the excitement of the Yankees’ pulsating 6-4 victory over the Astros in Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday night was Starlin Castro’s glove almost costing them a chance to stage that thrilling comeback.
The first of two errors by the second baseman didn’t hurt too much but, at the time, the second one looked like it led to a very big insurance run.
With one out in the sixth, Carlos Correa’s ground ball went over the mound, to the left of second base and through Castro legs for an error. Sonny Gray uncorked a wild pitch that put Correa on second but Gray retired the next two batters.
The second baseman wasn’t so fortunate in the seventh when the Astros increased a 3-0 lead to 4-0.
Marwin Gonzalez doubled to right-center with one out off Chad Green and with the Yankees in a shift for the left-handed hitting Brian McCann, Castro was on the grass in short right field. McCann hit a grounder that went from dirt to grass and off Castro’s glove. It got far enough away for Gonzalez scored from second and the Astros led by four.
Fortunately for Castro, who drew a walk in the four-run eighth, the Yankees plated two in the seventh and four more in the eighth to take him off the hook.
Austin Romine was called for catcher’s interference on Josh Reddick in the three-run sixth which accounted for the Yankees third error of the night.
If the Yankees advance to the World Series, they will be the 14th team in MLB history and fourth in LCS play to escape a 0-2 deficit in a seven-game series.
Sonny Gray has pitched 21 ¹/₃ postseason innings over three series in his career and his teams (A’s and Yankees) haven’t scored a run while he has been in the game.
Todd Frazier said the Yankees’ dugout was “like 12-year-olds’’ during the eighth-inning rally.
“Spike Lee was behind us yelling at me, ‘What time is it?’ ” Frazier, who looked at an imaginary watch on his left wrist as he toured the bases after hitting a three-run home run in Game 4 on Monday night said.
Romine never played in the old Yankee Stadium but he has been around Yankee royalty in the latest version of it, and was impressed by the noise generated by the crowd Tuesday.
“I’ve been here for [Mariano Rivera] and [Derek Jeter] when those guys were throwing and hitting and doing some great, legendary stuff,’’ said Romine, who started behind the plate. “This is [the same], if not the most I’ve ever heard these fans get after it.”
Luis Severino had his right shoulder checked Saturday and Monday and each battery of tests failed to discover a problem that would require an MRI exam, so the right-hander is set to start Game 6 on Friday.
“He is scheduled to go,’’ Joe Girardi said of the right-hander he pulled from Game 2 in Houston on Saturday after four innings thinking there was something wrong with the staff ace’s shoulder.
During Tuesday’s pregame press conference Girardi was informed that the Astros are a team that heavily uses analytics. Then the Yankees manager was told his team didn’t seem to be as committed to analytics and was asked whether it should be?
Since the Yankees have a very large analytical department that they lean heavily on Girardi’s answer was blunt.
“Well, then you don’t pay attention to our team. Our analytical department is probably bigger than any analytical department in baseball,’’ Girardi said. “And we use it a lot. So, obviously we take the information they give us and we decipher it. So, it’s really important to us, too.’’
Had Monday night been a game in June Girardi would have likely stayed with Dellin Betances after he walked the first two guys in the ninth inning with the Yankees leading, 8-0, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros.
However, Girardi didn’t give Betances time to work out his control issues and called for Tommy Kahnle.
“If it’s the regular season it’s different,’’ Girardi said. “I am looking at how quickly it can become 8-6, 8-5 and then you have to get your closer in. I was hoping to give [Aroldis Chapman] a couple of days off. There is a lot of things that go into that so I don’t think you can really take that chance.’’
Since Betances has issued five walks in three postseason innings Girardi was asked how he will use him as the postseason progresses.
“I will use him in the opportunities we feel is best,’’ Girardi said. “I have to evaluate it every day and see who is available and go from there.’’