Houston did it again.
The Astros eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs for the 3rd time in the last 5 years !! The Yanks had their chances to win the series. They took game 1 decisively by a score of 7-0 and by doing so gained home field advantage. In fact they could have / should have won game 2, and take a strangle-hold on the ALCS but could not hold a 2-1 lead and eventually lost 3-2 in extra-innings. IMO- that was the turning point of the series. More specifically, when Adam Ottavino came into the game in the 5th inning with a 2-1 lead, and on the first pitch served up a hanging slider that Springer hit out for a game-tying HR, THAT was the turning point to the entire series. Ottavino was the weak-link (I warned about him in the column I wrote before the series started). You have to believe, if the Yanks come back to the Bronx up 2 games to none. they’d come out on top. Instead, the Yanks dropped 2 of 3 at home and lost in heart-breaking fashion in game 6 in Houston. DJ LeMahieu (without question team MVP) tried his best to extend the series with a dramatic 9th inning, game tying 2R HR, off Astros closer Roberto Osuna, but Aroldis Chapman failed to get through the bottom of the 9th, as Jose Altuve crushed a hanging-slider (ouch) for a walk-off ALCS winner. A crushing but not overly shocking defeat.
Lets ‘stro down memory lane with some of my previous columns.
Oct. 10th 2015
IT FELT LIKE GAME 163
The Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium vs. the Houston Astros felt
like so many losses in August and September.
***A gutsy performance by a Yankee Starter with health concerns,
in this case Masahiro Tanaka (torn UCL /Elbow) giving up only
2 runs, BUT only going 5 innings and handing it over
too early, to an extremely over-worked Bullpen.
***Getting shut down by a Lefty Starter, because the batting order was
too left handed.
*** An inability to score Runs when they don’t hit the long ball,
because the team was built to hit Homers and had no ability
(or desire) to manufacture runs by being situational.
***A continuation of a collapse by almost every veteran bat
since the end of July.
Amazingly at the trading deadline the Yankees had a 7 game
lead in the AL East Division.
ARod had a .192 B.A. in August & September, but he was not alone.
The Post All Star Break numbers for some of the highest paid veterans
was downright staggering …
POST ASG :
Ellsbury .220 BA
Gardner .206 BA
McCann .200 BA
The 3-0 loss to Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros felt
like a continuation of the end of the regular season when the
Yanks dropped 6 of their last 7 to Boston and Baltimore.
The team wore #8 on their sleeves in honor of Yankee Icon
Yogi Berra who famously reminded everyone,
“It Aint Over Till It’s Over “. Unfortunately the Yankees
Wild Card game loss felt exactly like so many late season losses,
that it felt like …
“Deja Vu All Over Again”
So now ” When You Get To The Fork In The Road …”
Stick It In The Yankees !!
Because when it comes to the 2015 Season .. WE’RE DONE.
Interesting. Some similarities to that Wild Card game back in 2015.
Starting pitcher not going deep in the game , and a line-up trying to hit home runs.
Let’s look back to … Oct. 26, 2017 when the Astros knocked-out the Yanks in Game 7 of the ALDS
Helluva RIDE. Pinstripe PRIDE !!
The ALCS was very similar. Another 100+ team. Another 0-2 game deficit to dig out of. Once again the Yanks battled back, this time vs. the Houston Astros. The Bombers swept 3 straight in the Bronx, again with the help of a LOUD Stadium crowd (ask Keuchel & other Astros) extending their post-season home record to a perfect 6-0. Their dominance at home was a trend all year. The Yanks had the best regular season home record in the A.L. (51-30). They unfortunately dropped the last 2 games in Houston. This also was a trend as the Yanks had a sub .500 record on the road all year (40-41 regular season & 1-6 postseason).
2019 was the 3rd time the 2 teams met in the postseason , but unfortunately there was no charm.
Now we turn our attention to next season. Look for my next column on this subject entitled..
” 2020 VISION ”
Go NYY !!