UPDATE: Well, this doesn’t sound promising. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Ventura exited due to “lateral elbow discomfort” and will be sent for an MRI.
9:36 p.m. ET: Troubling development for the Royals, as rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura was forced to exit tonight’s start against the Astros in the third inning with an apparent injury.
Ventura was getting hit around pretty good before exiting, as the Astros touched him up for five runs on seven hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes that his fastball was clocked at 91 mph against his final batter, which isn’t a promising sign. We’ll pass along more information when we get it, but hopefully another young pitcher isn’t dealing with a serious injury.
Ventura, 22, owns a 3.45 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings over 10 starts this season. Per FanGraphs, he entered tonight’s outing with an average fastball velocity of 96.7 mph, which is the highest in the majors.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.