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Monday, October 21, 2019

Yankees’ Season Blows Up With Starting Pitcher Void Never Filled

HOUSTON — Twenty minutes after José Altuve hit the walk-off home run that sent the Astros to the World Series and the Yankees back to the Bronx, Minute Maid Park continued to roar. The field echoed with cheers as Altuve accepted the ALCS MVP trophy. The concourses reverberated as orange-clad fans congratulated one another and floated into the night. The parking lots buzzed.

The only quiet place in the ballpark could be found in the bowels below the third-base dugout, where the Yankees gathered in their clubhouse, silent but for the sounds of hands clapping shoulders as they said their goodbyes.

Eyes red, reliever Zack Britton contemplated what had just slipped away. The Astros’ 6–4 win had seemed almost unfathomable just 35 minutes earlier, after New York first baseman DJ LeMahieu lined a cutter into the rightfield bleachers to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning. That was it, the Yankees were sure. Momentum was on their side. They would force a Game 7.

Then came the bottom of the ninth. Closer Aroldis Chapman got two outs. He walked George Springer on five pitches. He ran the count to 2–1 on Altuve. He hung a slider.

Some thoughts on the roots of a loss.

 

QLE Posted: October 21, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alcs, pitching, yankees

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