The old cliché that all no-hitters require a great defensive play didn’t apply Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
This one, however, did involve an important catch.
Struggling Yankees slugger Joey Gallo hit a towering fly-ball — a bid for a go-ahead home run — in the bottom of the eighth inning, but it fell just short, caught by Kyle Tucker on the warning track. Surviving that potential nightmare was enough for the Astros to finish off a 3-0 win and a rare no-hitter.
“I knew he got it really good,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I knew he got it really high, so I was in-between. I thought it had a chance and then realized it died out. Good pass, good to see him get on, and unfortunately it just missed. Obviously that would’ve been huge.”
There was excitement in the dugout as the ball hopped off Gallo’s bat on the first pitch from Hector Neris, with one out and Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu after walks.The Yankees have reverted to home run-reliance in the last week, scoring 13 of their 17 total runs via homers.
“He put a good swing on it,” catcher Jose Trevino said. “You can’t hope for anything more than just a good at-bat there, and that’s what he did.”
Responding to a story in The Post in which Isiah Kiner-Falefa said Trevino “got shafted” when they were teammates on the Rangers (2018-21), Texas manager Chris Woodard told MLB.com, “It’s hard for me to obviously hear anything of that nature because I felt like we gave him a tremendous opportunity here.”
Trevino, acquired in an April trade, is having a breakout season for the Yankees and is second among American League catchers in All-Star voting.
“I think he’s a winner and a champion, and I’ve told him many times,” Woodward said. “After the 2020 season, I pulled him aside and wanted him to lead our team. The fact that there’s any thought that maybe he got screwed here, I mean he got a chance to play every day and got a ton of [at-bats]. I felt there was more in there, especially offensively. I don’t know to this extent, and I hope he sustains it.”
Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to make his second rehab appearance Sunday for Double-A Somerset. He was at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, after he threw a scoreless inning at Somerset on Friday night.
If all goes according to plan, Boone said, it is “realistic” that Chapman (Achilles tendinitis) could be activated Monday or Tuesday.
Fellow reliever Jonathan Loaisiga threw a bullpen session before the game Saturday, with Boone watching. Loaisiga needs more bullpen sessions — including one Monday — and live batting practice sessions before he is ready for a rehab assignment, Boone said.
“I thought he looked great for his first time back on a mound,” Boone said. “We had to kind of slow him down, he felt so good. That’s obviously really exciting.”
“Those are three potentially really impactful guys that you add to the mix,” Boone said, including Domingo German, also on a rehab assignment at Single-A.
It was LeMahieu’s turn to not start in the Yankees’ overcrowded infield rotation, though he pinch hit in the eighth inning. After missing three straight games with hamstring tightness, then returning to play in three straight at shortstop, Kiner-Falefa also did not start as a way to manage recovery.