The New York Yankees have a new owner – it’s the Houston Astros.
The Astros shut out the Yankees, 5-0, to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.
The Yankees had three hits on the night – two of them came in the ninth inning after they seemingly had no chance.
In the second inning, Gerrit Cole was on his way to a seven-pitch inning, but a miscommunication between Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge made Bader drop the third out. The next batter, Chas McCormick, found the short porch and gave the Astros a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Astros loaded the bases with nobody out, prompting Aaron Boone to go to his bullpen. A Trey Mancini sac fly off Lou Trivino made it 3-0, and Christian Vazquez singled to drive in two more. All three of those runs were charged to Cole, who finished with five runs allowed (three earned) on five hits in 5+ frames while walking two and striking out seven.
The Yankees had just four baserunners against Christian Javier (three walks, one hit), but the Yankees couldn’t get any of them past second base. In the eighth inning, the Yankees finally had some sort of rally, putting runners on the corners with one out. But Anthony Rizzo lined out, and Judge grounded out to end it.
Judge continued his abysmal postseason. After his 0-for-4, two-striekout game, he is now 5-for-32 this postseason with 14 strikeouts. In his career in the postseason, he is a .216 hitter. This comes after one of the greatest offensive seasons the game has ever seen, where he hit an AL record 62 home runs while hitting .311, the second-best mark in the American League.
Jose Altuve broke his 0-for-25 skid with a double. The Astros are 6-0 this postseason, even with Altuve (and Yordan Alvarez’s) struggles.
The Astros are now one win away from their second-straight World Series appearance, and their fourth in the last six seasons. If, and, at this point, likely when, the Yankees lose this series, it will be their third loss in the ALCS since 2017, all against the Astros.
At one point, the conversation was that the Yankees would be one of the best teams ever when they were on pace to shatter the 2001 Seattle Mariners’ record 116 wins – now they are one loss away from another failed season.
The Yankees are hitting .128 this series and have scored just four runs. They have six hits or fewer in all eight postseason games they’ve played this year.
Lance McCullers will look to finish the sweep, while Nestor Cortes will try to kickstart what would be only the second comeback from down 3-0 in MLB history, done by the 2004 Boston Red Sox… against the Yankees (the Astros forced a Game 7 after being down 3-0 in 2020 to the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Rays won Game 7).
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