That’s the number of times the Houston Astros struck out against Yankees pitchers on Wednesday night. Compare that to the 17 posted by the Yankees and it’s easy to see where Houston had more opportunities to make things happen at the plate by simply putting the ball in play.
Those two strikeouts, by the way, bookended a seventh-inning solo shot by Jeremy Peña that pushed the Houston lead to 4-1. Jose Altuve struck out to end the sixth and New York reliever Frankie Montas quieted the Houston crowd slightly by whiffing Yordan Alvarez right after Peña’s blast.
By the way, the difference of 15 between the number of New York’s strikeouts and Houston’s whiffs established a new postseason record.
Perhaps the only plus for the Yankees pitchers over their Astros counterparts in Game 1 was a big double play that kept the game tied in the fifth inning. With Peña already at second with a one-out double, the Yankees pulled starter Jameson Taillon and went to Clarke Schmidt, who intentionally walked Alvarez before issuing a free pass to Alex Bregman to load the bases. However, Schmidt rebounded by getting Kyle Tucker to ground into an inning-ending double play.
It was a big moment for the Yankees, but it was also one of the few moments on Wednesday when New York pitching got the advantage over Houston at the dish.