For all the whiners who clicked this article assuming it was another extension of New York Yankees fans making “an excuse” for the team’s pitiful ALCS performance against the Houston Astros, feel free to share as you were going to anyway. Because you were never reading past the headline. We know how this works.
But there’s an intriguing topic that won’t go away thanks to Philadelphia Phillies catcher JT Realmuto, who hit the game-winning home run in Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Friday night. That clutch hit capped a 6-5 win after the Phils trailed 5-0. Thrilling stuff.
Realmuto’s homer in the 10th was a liner to right field (an oppo shot) that, coincidentally, had similar (but worse!) advanced metrics off the bat than Aaron Judge’s now-forgettable flyout in Game 2 of the ALCS last week. Don’t get mad at the messengers, either. This is simply the discourse right now, as Realmuto referenced Judge’s out in his postgame commentary.
Astros pitcher Luis Garcia tried to sneak a 98 MPH heater by Realmuto, but to no avail. It was just out of outfielder Kyle Tucker’s reach and landed in the first row.
The difference this time around? The roof at Minute Maid Park was closed. Just sayin’. Those are the facts.
Yankees’ Aaron Judge’s out was almost identical to JT Realmuto’s game-winning World Series HR vs Astros
Don’t get us wrong — had Judge homered in that game, it simply would’ve delayed the inevitable of the Yankees losing that series. It’s just interesting that everyone refused to acknowledge Houston opening the roof at Minute Maid Park for the second time in 84 games this season as anything noteworthy.
Again, per easily findable facts, the wind was swirling in Houston on the night of ALCS Game 2, with balls being hit out to left field getting an extra boost and balls being hit out to right field getting knocked down. This was fully discussed in the pregame, with manager Dusty Baker elaborating upon it to reporters.
As for the side-by-side comparison between Realmuto’s homer and Judge’s flyout, it’s obvious the wind played a role that night, too. Judge’s was faster off the bat and had a better launch angle. During the regular season, balls hit 106+ MPH with a launch angle of 28 degrees traveled at an average distance of 415 feet. Judge’s went 345 feet. Realmuto’s — which was 8 MPH slower and had two fewer degrees on the launch angle — went 346 feet.
In the end, the Astros punked the Yankees. Again. There’s nothing that can be said or done at this moment to reverse that narrative. But the toxic discourse claiming the Yankees “made excuses” in regard to this singular instance are overblown and taken out of context. There was clearly something to opening the roof back on Oct. 21. Something the Astros 100% should have done if it gave them a competitive advantage.
At the very least, Yankees fans are just glad this has come full circle and directly impacted the Astros in a loss to kick off the World Series. That’s the best outcome anybody could ask for right now.