When it comes to the matchup between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, fans don’t know what to expect. The Houston Astros are known for being one of the most “all or nothing” ball clubs within the entire League. When they are hot they’re hot, but when they are not they are terrible. The Yankees have the advantage of being pretty consistent, but this presents them with an interesting wild card within regular season play.
While the Astros are low on the radar of the Yankees, cause for rivalry between the two teams can occasionally emerge. Although the Astros and the Yankees are not in the same division, they usually still hold clutch games for clinching their own division overall. This can be understood if we look at the schedule that usually pits the Yanks versus the Astros with at least two late season matchups. This arrangement ensures a good amount of heat during these games as both teams battle for ground within their respective divisions. With a lot on the line, it is no wonder the fans can get pretty worked up over the matchup between these two teams.
We might expect that the Yankees have the ball in their court during these matchups. Yet, history shows otherwise. The Astros also made history in New York on June 11, 2003, while delivering the Yankees their first home turf no hitter shutout since 1953. Accomplishing this feat with the help of 6 pitchers, no less, made this truly an incredible evening. As the Yankees also learned that evening, nothing will kill team morale more than a total shutout. This loss was especially devastating considering the Yankees had a 170 million dollar roster full of the best hitters in baseball. With talent like Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, there was hardly any excuses for such a pitiful loss. Yet, none of these big guys made a dent that night, effectively leaving New York with a black eye, and a wounded ego to go out and finish the season with.
Nothing excites baseball fans more than an underdog win, and that season New York was knee deep in their usual division domination run. So this was really uncharacteristic of the team at the time, and even more reason to herald this anomaly a legitimate execution of precision bullpen coaching. Perhaps coaches from around the league will be reviewing this tape for years to come, as a way to take 6 mid-grade pitchers, and turn it into a complete shutout--truly a coaching and pitching feat for the ages. But one thing is for sure. That record defeat hasn’t smoothed relations between the Yankees and the Astros. While it is far too late for the Yankees to save face, the memory of that shutout burns on in the rivalry between the two teams. Unwillingly, the Yankees became a part of Astros team history when they suffered a grueling loss at the hands of this underdog team..