For weeks, we thought endlessly about how the Yankees would’ve hosted the Wild Card Game if only they’d held a 7-2, ninth-inning lead against the ‘Stros in Houston going into the All-Star break. Now, thanks to another lengthy playoff run, we’re harboring a different concern that takes a little shine off our ’90s dynasty.
We’re fine. It’s fine.
The Astros’ Game 5 win in Atlanta not only marked a frightful continuation of the series for Braves fans, but also sent Houston’s quartet of stars from 2017-present past the Yankees’ talented group from 1996-2000 in a very important stat, which almost seems impossible.
Officially, following Game 5, the Houston quartet of Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman have played more postseason games together than the Yankees’ historic quartet of Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez and Bernie Williams.
The new “Core Four”? Don’t type it. Please.
The Astros just broke a Yankees dynasty record.
This is for all those Astros fans, by the way, who say you’re not allowed to hate the 2021 team for cheating because it’s “basically completely different” than the 2017 crew. Really? Record-setting continuity between their four most important hitters? Totally different? Gotcha.
The only saving grace here for Yankees fans is that we all know the “Core Four” refers to Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, four presences who were together for postseason runs from 1995-2003, then 2009-2011. The Astros can’t match that just because they broke a record held by a group of dynasty position players who broke up after 2001.
However, try telling that to an Astros fan. They’ll do the tongue-created fart noise in your face until you stop clarifying. It’s simply what they do.
The only good news? This Houston core might not run and hide with the record, as there’s a good chance Correa departs following the World Series. Don’t tell that to Gurriel, though, who would clearly like to keep making runs with his most fiery teammate.
Between this longevity mark and the jarring realization that Altuve now sits second all-time in playoff home runs ahead of Bernie and behind Manny Ramirez (can they maybe both lose the title if they tie?), it’s been a depressing week since the Red Sox were eliminated and we felt joy.
Hopefully, this is the final postseason run for quite a while featuring these painfully familiar names.