This very disappointing season for the Yankees took another hit on Tuesday night, as the Bombers kicked off a very important six-game homestand with a 7-4 loss to the Houston Astros, a team that boasts the third worst record in baseball.
Houston struck out 15 times last night, they left 10 runners on base, and they beat the Yankees by three runs for their third win over the Yankees in four meetings so far this season.
With Baltimore's win last night, the Yankees are now 9 1/2 games back in the AL East -- they're all but officially out in the division, it seems -- and they're four games back of the Mariners and Athletics for the second wild card.
Tonight's lineup against Houston:
LF Brett Gardner
DH Derek Jeter
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
3B Mark Teixeira
C Brian McCann
3B Chase Headley
SS Stephen Drew
2B Martin Prado
RF Ichiro Suzuki
* Carlos Beltran was scratched from tonight's lineup after feeling some pain in his elbow after a swing in last night's game. Joe Girardi told reporters that Beltran will see a doctor later today, and that he only hopes he'll be out for a day or two.
This is the same elbow that has caused Beltran pain for most of the season. He could have had the surgery and probably returned by now, but instead, he's still hurting and might need to get something done in the winter.
Pitching matchup preview:
For the first time since early April, Michael Pineda will take the mound for the Bombers at home in Yankee Stadium this evening. The right-hander made his long-awaited return from the DL last week, one run on two hits over five innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
If the Yankees are going to make any sort of playoff push, Pineda is going to be a big piece of that puzzle.
Going for the Astros will be the right-hander Scott Feldman, who held the Yankees scoreless for 6 2/3 innings on Opening Day. Feldman is coming off of a rough outing against the Boston Red Sox over the weekend, where he gave up seven runs on nine hits.