On Wednesday, Matt Carpenter had a challenging evening at work. The veteran New York Yankees pitcher struck out four times in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, three of them against Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander. Carpenter, who fractured his left foot in the summer and has only played in six at-bats since his comeback, is obviously rusty.
The former Yankee, however, wasn’t prepared to accept it as an explanation. Carpenter actually had a pretty negative opinion of his performance against Verlander and the Astros. According to Deesha Thosar of Fox Sports, this is what the 36-year-old had to say.
The way he pitched tonight, Matt Carpenter remarked, I could have been playing for the past two months and it still would have been a difficult day. It’s a funny stance from the Yankees slugger, who obviously believes that Justin Verlander would have destroyed him whether or not he had any rust.
Given that the Yankees struck out 17 times, the second-highest total in the long playoff history of the team, Carpenter’s assessment appears to be wise as well. The remaining players for New York, including Josh Donaldson, Gleyber Torres, and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, have all been regular contributors and have struck out many times.
On Wednesday night, the Astros’ ace and the rest of their staff were at their peak, and Carpenter and the Yankees were unable to match it.
In the second game of the ALCS on Thursday night, New York must make better contact if they are to avoid going back to the Bronx with a hole to fill.
The original version of this article, entitled “Yankees veteran Matt Carpenter’s self-deprecating view after 4-strikeout ALCS game vs Justin Verlander, Astro,” was published on ClutchPoints.