ALCS: Verlander Masterful, Astros Walk-Off Yanks 2-1
Series shifts back to New York with ‘Stros up 2-0.
The Houston Astros and the New York Yankees battled again through another low scoring game as both pitching staff’s kept the powerful offenses in check.
Justin Verlander was just masterful, tossing a complete game, allowing five hits, one run, a walk and struck out 13 batters, while throwing 124 pitches, 93 of which were strikes.
As for Luis Severino, he was not as dominate, but did keep the high-flying Astros lineup from taking off, as he tossed four innings, of two hit ball, allowing one run, two walks, but didn’t strike out a batter.
In the bottom of the fourth, the ‘Stros scored their run on a solo shot off the bat of Carlos Correa and the Yankees added their lone run in the fifth on an RBI double from Todd Frazier, scoring Aaron Hicks to tie the game.
After the Yanks scored their run, Verlander was as dominate as he has ever been in a game, retiring the last 14 of 16 batters, with the last out on his 124th pitch, a ground ball by Greg Bird to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Yanks sent Aroldis Chapman to the mound to try to send the game into extra innings. He quickly struck out Josh Reddick on four pitches for the first out. But on the first pitch to Jose Altuve, the Astros second baseman, lined single to left field, putting the winning run on first.
Correa then battled Chapman through a six pitch at-bat, lining a ball into the right center field gap. Aaron Judge cut it off and fired it back to second base. Didi Gregorius caught it, turned and threw it home, but the ball short hopped an awaiting Gary Sanchez, allowing Altuve, who appeared to be a dead duck, score the winning run. Final score is 2-1, for the second day in a row.
The Astros now lead the Yankees 2-0, with the series shifting to New York for Games 3-5. The Yankees were in a similar position in the ALDS when they fell behind the Cleveland Indians 2-0, but rallied to win three games and take the series.
Can the Astros keep the Yankees from getting back in the series and end it in New York, or will the Yankees figure out how to beat another powerhouse team? Stay tuned as the drama begins to unfold.
October Baseball at it’s best.