It was the managerial decisions as a result of poor offense that cost the New York Yankees in Game 1. On Thursday night, it was a handful of mistakes from Luis Severino and another dead offensive showing from the lineup. Once again, they failed to dig deep in a 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros. They’re down 0-2 in this series and need to win four out of the next five to advance to the World Series.
But all these first two games proved to us was that the Astros continue to have the Yankees’ number. Not only that, but they’re a totally different team than the Yankees. When their best players are underperforming, their worst players pick them up. When they need a hit or need to get an out, they take care of business.
The Yankees? Poor play is contagious. The spotlight isn’t something they get used to anymore — rather, they get worse and worse as the stakes get higher and higher. They never step on the opposition’s throat. They let them hang around … and around … and around, which either results in a loss or a win that’s far too agonizing to even enjoy.
On Thursday night, the Yanks got 5.1 solid innings out of Luis Severino. Even manager Aaron Boone pressed the right buttons with the bullpen, calling upon Jonathan Loaisiga and Wandy Peralta as the duo combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball.
The offense registered four hits and two walks. The two runs that scored were a direct result of Astros starter Framber Valdez committing two errors on one play that should’ve resulted in two outs if he didn’t fall down. Meanwhile, the Yankees couldn’t overcome a single bad pitch from Severino. They literally needed him to be perfect.
Yankees’ sad ALCS Game 2 loss shows why Astros own them
Oh yeah, and Jose Altuve is 0-for-23 so far in the postseason! If Aaron Judge was 0-for-23, the Yankees would be eliminated. The Astros? 5-0 and three wins away from a World Series berth.
Just for funsies, a fan ran on the field in the ninth inning to hug Altuve and get a selfie with him, too. At Yankee Stadium, an 0-for-22 Judge would be getting booed into oblivion.
Speaking of Judge, he nearly gave the Yankees the lead in the top of the eighth with a shot to right field. But Kyle Tucker came down with the ball as he leaped at the wall.
Anything and everything was working against the Yankees on Thursday night. One bad pitch to Bregman does them in. A rocket off the bat of Gleyber Torres ricocheted off Bregman’s glove and right to Jeremy Peña, who threw Torres out. And then there was the fact the Minute Maid Park roof was opened for the evening …
Judge lost 69 feet on that flyout? Seems impossible. Astros manager Dusty Baker said pregame that the wind as a result of the roof being open actually knocks down balls to left and gives a boost to those hit out to right.
What is “interesting,” however, is the fact that this was the SECOND game of 2022 that Minute Maid Park had its roof open. Two out of eighty-four.
Still, hardly an excuse for anything. The Astros’ pitching staff dared the Yankees to hit the ball all night long. New York responded by striking out 13 times and getting on base six times.
What did the Astros do against a very good starter in Severino and the Yankees’ best relievers? Even though they only had three runs to show for it, they got on base 10 times and struck out just six. Who’s killing the Yankees so far in this series? That would be No. 9 hitter Martin Maldonado and 84 OPS+ king Yuli Gurriel.
Are the Astros lucky? Absolutely. Are the Yankees also beyond dreadful? Double absolutely. It’s an unwatchable series every time these two teams take the field and this game epitomized why the Yankees can’t get past the Astros.
The series returns to the Bronx for Games 3-5 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. An epic turnaround needs to be in store, but for a team that’s yet to score more than five runs in a single postseason game so far, it’s hard to envision it.
They’re two losses away from the brutal “Astros own the Yankees” narrative only being further validated and pretty much characterizing the better part of a decade of Bombers baseball. Unfathomable.