Yankees playoffs: The Bronx Beast has Awoken in the ALCS
And I do Mean Storm
That trueism reared its head in another significant series moment. With the Yankees storming back in game four, and everyone able to tell that the series was on the line, Headley fell down between first and second.
In a rash of plays, when a more measured approach might have served the Astros better, the first basemen threw the ball to second as Headley scrambled towards the bag. Altuve admitted that, due to his diminutive size, he had to back away from the bag just to be able to catch the ball:
"“Me, I’m 5’ 5”,” Altuve said. “Headley is six-something. He blocked me and I had to step back to catch the ball. If I didn’t do it, I don’t think I catch that ball.” But by backing away, Altuve lost the sure out."
His physical limitations allowed just enough room for Headley to find the bag, and the Yankees to find their way all the way back. In a tight series in which every play counts, those kinds of plays have made it seem the Yankees are growing bigger and more imposing, while the Astros are shrinking in size and away from the action.
That’s what happens when you bring back not just your own ghosts, but your opponents.
Losing begets Losing
The ramifications of that game four loss went far beyond the 2017 playoffs. For Astros fans, it brought back the specter of the game four, 2015 ALDS loss to eventual World Series champion, Kansas City.
Houston entered game four ahead in that series, two to one. And they entered the eighth inning of that game up by four runs. But the Astros bullpen imploded, blew that late inning lead, and Houston lost the game.
Two days later, they lost the series.
If you feel little emotional reaction to reading this, you are not an Astros fan. The similarities were not lost on they, or the players. And it was a big part of their desultory disposition after losing both games four and five.
One thing the Houston players did feel confident about, though, was that they never want to see Yankees stadium again.