Michael Morse has been out since May with a strained quadriceps, but the Mariners outfielder is rehabbing in the minors and just about ready to come off the disabled list.
Interim manager Robby Thompson described Morse as “champing at the bit” to return and Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Morse could be back in the lineup as soon as this weekend.
Morse got off to a big start before cooling off considerably, hitting .251 with 11 homers and a .767 OPS in 56 games overall before going on the DL. Acquired from the Nationals in January as part of a big three-team deal with the A’s, he’s an impending free agent making $6.75 million.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.