I’ll get into some mistakes I think the Yanks made in this ALCS in another post. For now, just a game post.
Jose Altuve (ALCS MVP) hit a walkoff HR in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston a 6-4 win and send the Astros to the WS where they’ll meet the Washington Nationals. It’s the second pennant for the Astros in three years. Houston won the 2017 WS.
For the Yankees, it’s the first decade since the 1910s where they haven’t made a WS appearance. They did lose four ALCS’s in the 2010s.
2010: Lost in 6 to Texas.
2012: Swept by Detroit in the series where Derek Jeter broke his ankle in Game 1.
2017: Lost in 7 to Houston.
2019: Lost in 6 to Houston.
The use of an opener didn’t work well for the Yanks, because Chad Green gave up a 3-run HR in the first inning to Yuri Gurriel with two out. The HR came right after a mound visit. That sure didn’t work well.
The Yanks got one run back in the second when slumping players Didi Gregorius doubled and Gary Sanchez singled him in. Later, with two out and two on, Brett Gardner struck out on a questionable call. It was the first of many breaks that did not go the Yankees’ way last night.
The Yanks loaded the bases in the third, but Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the inning. Why he swung at the first pitch, who knows. Down 3-1, needing to get back in the game, and a new pitcher just in the game, make him throw strikes. Check his nerves out. Instead, it appeared Didi succumbed to the nerves and pressure. He should have taken one. That, I couldn’t understand. Big mistake by Didi there, I thought, and think.
Gio Urshela homered in the fourth to make it 3-2 and the Yanks then didn’t catch another break. Gardner, up next, hit a long drive to right that looked as if it would tie up the game but it went just foul. He wound up singling but the Yanks couldn’t get him in.
With two out and one on in the top of the sixth, Gardner lined one to right but Josh Reddick made a diving catch on it.
Altuve, who had doubled and scored in the first, walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth for Houston. He went to third on a single by Michael Brantley and scored on a forceout. 4-2 Houston.
In the top of the seventh, another bad break for the Yanks. With Aaron Judge on first and one out, Aaron Hicks lined one to left. Brantley made a diving catch and doubled Judge off of first.
With one out and one on in the top of the eighth, Houston turned a nifty DP to get out of the inning. All breaks were going against the Yanks. The Yanks escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the eighth and went into the ninth down 4-2.
In the top of the ninth, it appeared that maybe the baseball gods would finally smile on the Yankees. Gio Urshela singled. Brett Gardner struck out after almost being HBP. D.J. LeMahieu then tied the game with a HR that barely cleared the wall and the leap of George Springer, now playing RF. 4-4.
Aroldis Chapman started the bottom of the ninth ok with a strikeout and pop up, but then walked Springer. Altuve then hit his pennant-winning HR.
LeMahieu 2-run Game tying HR in top of 9th.
Encarnacion 0 for 3, walk, 3 strikeouts. He killed the Yanks this series.
Gregorius 2 hits, but that first pitch groundout with the bases loaded in the third hurt.
Urshela 3 for 3, HR.
Green 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up HR
Happ 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. Maybe should have started, given more length?
Cessa 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Kahnle 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Ottavino 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Chapman (LOSS) 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. Gave up GW HR.
In retrospect, maybe the Yanks should have just started Happ and asked for four or five from him. There are a lot of things they could and/or should have done differently this series. That is for the next post, coming later today.