After ending the Athletics’ nine-game winning streak this afternoon, the Angels have now won 10 out of their last 13 games. While they are finally showing signs of life at just the right time, they could be without their best starter this week.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Jered Weaver is questionable for his next start after he was hit in the right shoulder by a comebacker off the bat of Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley in the fifth inning yesterday. The Angels’ ace managed to finish the inning, but he was replaced after giving up a single and a walk in the sixth. He hasn’t been sent for any tests yet, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said his shoulder was “a little tender” this morning.
“We’re going to wait and see how it’s feeling,” Scioscia said. “… Let’s get through this series and we’ll see how some things set up, particularly with Weave, and then we’ll have decisions.”
Weaver gave up two runs over 5 1/3 innings yesterday and was handed the loss. The 29-year-old right-hander is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 121/38 K/BB ratio over 160 1/3 innings in 25 starts this season.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.