Houston's Jose Altuve won the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning after New York's D.J. LaMahieu tied the game with a home run of his own in the top of the frame. Paxton chilled Houston's bats and the bullpen followed with shutdown relief to beat the Astros 4-1 Friday night, cutting New York's AL Championship Series deficit to 3-2.
It was only fitting that Aaron Boone was in the opposite dugout, as the Yankee skipper has his own postseason home run which, many moons ago, sent the Yankees to a World Series (which they eventually lost).
"It's a failure, " Judge told The Post after the Yankees' season-ending 6-4 loss to the Astros in Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday night in Houston.
If both teams are indeed going with a bullpen game, I see this as a fairly even playing field and can even find several edges for the Yankees. So, congrats on your future managing job, Jose!
NY came out swinging against Verlander, who had been 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA against the Yankees in seven postseason starts. NY finished with only five hits in the contest but three went for extra bases: Gleyber Torres (run) doubled while DJ LeMahieu (his second of the postseason) and Aaron Hicks (his first) each homered in the victory.
The Yankees played a lot of great defense sweeping the Twins in their Division Series, but the Astros were the better fielding team by a mile in the ALCS. George Springer helped pace the Astros offense as he went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Carlos Correa was 1-for-2 plus two walks.
But after talking all year about how important it was to gain home-field advantage, the Yankees showed what a slight let-up in the last 10 days of the regular season meant. Green didn't factor in the decision in his last outing, which came in a relief outing at home in Game 4 against Houston Thursday. Justin Verlander (2-2) threw seven decent innings but was touched up in the first.
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"He's really good at staying calm in what's going to be probably one of the more intense games that we've had this season up to date, " Hinch said.
There is also the possibility that Brad Peacock could start it off, even though he pitched the last inning of Game 5 last night.
Encarnacion is 1 for 15 in the ALCS. The Yankees are a +130 underdog, while the total is set at 9 runs.
CC Sabathia's appearance in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series ended in heartbreaking fashion.
Gary Sanchez had an RBI single in the second inning and Gio Urshela a solo home run in the fourth.
Sanchez finished the postseason hitting.129 with one homer and 16 whiffs in 31 at-bats.
Gardner disputed the call for a few seconds, but arguing was useless because the Yankees' threat was over.