Jasson Dominguez’s blast seals Yankees’ sweep of Astros ending wait since 2013

Jasson Dominguez's homer broke the tie and helped the Yankees thrash the Astros to sweep series in Houston on September 03, 2023.

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A two-run homer by rookie Jasson Dominguez in the sixth inning turned the tide for the New York Yankees in Houston. This proved to be crucial as the Yankees claimed a 6-1 victory and secured a surprising three-game road sweep of the Astros.

Powered by a youthful approach and led by Baby Bombers, the team secured their third consecutive victory against the reigning World Series champions on Sunday night. Also, it was their first sweep of the Houston Astros since 2013, an occasion remarkable enough to send Yankees fans into a frenzy.

The Yankees, fielding a lineup featuring five rookies for the third consecutive evening, accomplished a historic sweep of the Astros at Minute Maid Park. This marked the first time they achieved such a feat since September 27-29, 2013, a series that notably featured Andy Pettitte’s memorable complete game in his final career start.

Jasson Dominguez made quite an impression by becoming the first Yankees player since the reigning NL MVP Aaron Judge to hit two homers in his initial three MLB games. His second significant hit of the series came when he launched Astros starter Cristian Javier’s pitch over the right-field wall, breaking a 1-1 tie. This 20-year-old Yankees sensation had previously homered off 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander in his very first major league at-bat during New York’s 6-2 triumph in Friday’s opener.

Rookie talents Austin Wells and Oswald Peraza later contributed with RBI doubles in the ninth inning. The Yankees’ productive sixth inning included an RBI double from DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres added another homer in the ninth while going 2 for 4.

With prospect Jasson Dominguez delivering on the immense hype surrounding him by hitting his second two-run homer of the series, the Yankees maintained their perfect September record against the Astros. This trio of rookie sensations collectively contributed a home run, two doubles, and four RBIs in the game. Over the three-game series, they tallied an impressive nine RBIs while outscoring the Astros 17-7, marking their sixth win in the last seven games.

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Concluding a challenging 10-day, 10-game road trip, the Yankees finished on a high note by winning six of their last seven games, effectively putting a halt to the Astros’ momentum.

Jasson Dominguez’s day out

The previous time the Yankees secured a three-game series sweep against the Astros, Jasson Dominguez was merely a 10-year-old child. Fast forward a decade, and Jasson Dominguez played a pivotal role in their ability to repeat this achievement, making a resounding statement in his inaugural series in Major League Baseball.

Over the past four years since Jasson Dominguez’s signing with the Yankees for a substantial $5.1 million from the Dominican Republic, he mostly remained under the radar, but his arrival during the weekend did anything but diminish the long-standing excitement that has surrounded him. Instead, he electrified the Yankees.

Having launched a home run off Justin Verlander on his very first swing in his debut on Friday, Jasson Dominguez demonstrated his mettle again on Sunday night. This time, he did it against Cristian Javier, who had an impressive track record against the Yankees, having allowed only one run and three hits in 17 1⁄3 innings last season, including a 5 1⁄3 scoreless inning performance in Game 3 of the ALCS.

Jasson Dominguez explained that he anticipated not receiving fastballs from the pitcher and instead expected a series of breaking balls, so he made the conscious decision to wait for the breaking ball pitch.

Jasson Dominguez becomes the Yankees' youngest player to debut when he steps onto the field vs. the Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 1, 2023.
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Jasson Dominguez achieved a rare feat by becoming the fourth player in the Yankees’ storied history to launch two home runs in his initial three MLB games. The exclusive club includes Aaron Judge, Yogi Berra, and Joe Lefebvre.

Michael King expressed his admiration for Jasson Dominguez, acknowledging that he had met or exceeded all the expectations and hype that he had heard about the young player. King also mentioned that he was particularly impressed with Jasson Dominguez’s composure and poise on the field.

King had similar commendation for Wells, their first-time pairing as battery mates, save for a potential encounter during spring training’s live batting practice. The right-handed pitcher lauded his catcher for crafting an effective game plan on a night when Wells successfully threw out the first would-be base stealer in the fifth inning.

Aaron Boone commented on Jasson Dominguez’s demeanor at the plate, describing how comfortable he appeared. According to the Yankees manager, the rookie approaches his at-bats with a calm and collected attitude, free from tension, and often wears a smile on his face, which contributes to his success as a hitter. Sean Casey often emphasizes the importance of staying relaxed and not letting anxiety affect your hitting performance, and Jasson Dominguez exemplifies this approach.

The Yankees find new energy

Jasson Dominguez has certainly lived up to the immense hype during his debut weekend as a Major League player. Thus far, the 20-year-old center fielder for the Yankees has exceeded expectations. Austin Wells, another rookie who joined the team in September, has also displayed strong performances both at the plate and behind it.

While it was just one series, Jasson Dominguez and Wells undeniably made excellent first impressions. They handled themselves admirably in a challenging environment and showcased their abilities, playing pivotal roles in the Yankees’ series sweep.

Austin Wells expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, highlighting the significance of the collective effort in securing three wins.

Veteran players in the clubhouse noted a distinct change in atmosphere since Dominguez and Wells joined the team on Friday.

Michael King noted that the team is enjoying themselves and playing with a more relaxed attitude. He also mentioned the positive energy that Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells have brought to the team.

Michael King praised Austin Wells for his performance and adaptability, especially considering that it was their first time working together. King commended Wells for his excellent game plan and ability to adjust on the fly, emphasizing his strong communication skills.

Austin Wells shared that the pitchers’ trust and compliments have boosted his confidence significantly. He emphasized the importance of securing three consecutive wins and effectively containing a strong opposing lineup like the Astros.

Jasson Dominguez had a 1-for-4 performance that weekend, concluding the series with a .231 batting average, three hits in 13 at-bats, two homers, and four RBIs. He started batting sixth in his debut and continued in that spot for the last two nights. Only three other Yankees hitters were younger when batting in that spot: Mickey Mantle at 19 in 1951 and 20 in 1952, Bobby Murcer at 20 in 1970, and Johnny Priest at 20 in 1911.

Wells, at the plate, went 2-for-10 with two RBIs and a walk in three games. Despite the unexpected season, the recent performance by these rookies has sparked excitement among fans for the future. If the Yankees can string together some wins in the next few weeks, they might have an outside shot at making the postseason.

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