OK, we need to talk about how bad the Houston Astros bullpen is. Houston might have the best group of starting pitchers in baseball. Justin Verlander struck out 14 New York Yankees batters across eight innings—the second straight game an Astros starter made Yankees hitters look silly at the plate. But for the second straight game, the Astros bullpen let the Yankees back into it. And in the case of Tuesday night's game, closer Ken Giles blew the lead for Verlander.
Giles took the loss pretty hard. Actually, really hard. Or his face did at least.
That wasn't just a little slap in the face. Giles delivered quite the blow to his jaw. And then went onto self-destruct in the dugout.
Here's another angle:
If you're the Astros, and you have three of your starting pitchers—Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton—in the top 7 in ERA in all of baseball, all you need is a serviceable bullpen. And that's without Dallas Keuchel getting off to a good start (1-4 with an E.R.A. over 4.00). This might be the best pitching staff in baseball, but right now, the Houston bullpen is really holding them back. And we mean, really back. The bullpen almost blew Morton's gem of a start on Monday against the Yankees, only to hang on to a 2-1 win. And then, Giles gave up this colossal home run to Gary Sanchez after Verlander's gem on Tuesday:
There are few things better than watching a baseball player letting out his frustrations in the dugout after a big letdown. Players smashing water coolers and cracking bats over their knees are two signs that summer is officially on its way. So thanks for that, Ken Giles.