Justin Verlander (6-2 1.08 ERA) took the mound for the Houston Astros to face off against Domingo German (0-2 5.59 ERA) for the New York Yankees. Verlander is having a Cy Young Award season with the league's lowest ERA and third most strikeouts. Last time these two teams faced off the Yankees took three of four, including a game where Verlander started by getting to the Houston bullpen. The Astros are coming off a difficult 14-inning loss and the Yankees are coming off a game where Masahiro Tanaka went six strong innings against the Angels.

Game recap

The Astros began the scoring in the top of the second inning with Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis already on base. J.D. Davis came up to the plate and hit his first homer of the year to left field and quickly gave the Astros a 3-0 lead. The Astros again scored in the top half of the fourth inning when Evan Gattis laced a base hit to left field and Yuli Gurriel came around to score and make it 4-0. Marwin Gonzalez was thrown out at third trying to take an extra base.

The Yankees were unable to get to Justin Verlander until the bottom half of the seventh when Greg Bird hit his first home run of the year to the short porch in right field to put the Yankees on the board and make it a 4-1 game.

Jose Altuve hit a solo homer, his fourth on the season, to left field off of reliever A.J. Cole in the top of the eighth inning and extended the Astros' lead to 5-1. After yesterday's bullpen shakiness by the Houston Astros, the relievers settled back in and held the Yankees scoreless through 2.1 innings to secure the victory.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, manager A.J. Hinch decided to go back to closer Ken Giles who gave up three runs on three hits without recording an out yesterday against the Cleveland Indians. He gave up a leadoff single to Greg Bird, but got the next three hitters out to record a scoreless ninth.

Justin Verlander's resurgence

It will be noted that the trade to send Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros will be the worst trade in Detroit Tigers history. Verlander was the heart and soul of the franchise (I think Miguel Cabrera was aging out of it by the time Verlander ascended) and seemed like his career was reaching its tail end. In Houston, he looks as good, if not better, than he did when he won both the AL Cy Young and MVP award in 2011. The sabermetrics of baseball in the past half decade have shown that players can have a resurgence but I'm not sure if anyone has had a career resurrection like Verlander has. He is giving up less than five hits per nine innings and putting fear into the lineup that faces him.

Houston has the best starting pitchers in baseball, having the top three spots in starters' ERA. Teams will have to weather the storm and try to get to the bullpen if they want a chance against them.

Tomorrow's matchup

Game two of this three-game set will see Charlie Morton (7-0 2.04 ERA) go against CC Sabathia (2-1 3.55 ERA) at 7:05 PM EST. Morton has the second lowest ERA behind teammate Justin Verlander. The Yankees will need to have Sabathia get scoreless innings, work up Morton's pitch count, and get to the bullpen early in order to have success.