The Houston Astros have owned the New York Yankees for years, and the American League Championship Series might have just been the most exact example of “big brother-little brother” in this rivalry.
The Astros completed their sweep of the Yankees with their 6-5 win on Sunday night.
The Astros will meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
Up 5-4, the Yankees got a tailor-made double play ball in the seventh to end the inning, but Gleyber Torres threw it wide of Isiah Kiner-Falefa (who didn’t take a great angle, either). And Houston took advantage. Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman had back-to-back RBI singles to tie and take the lead. The Astros bullpen shut it down from there.
After struggling all series to get the offense going, the Yankees were desperate and got on the scoreboard early. Giancarlo Stanton and Torres hit back-to-back RBI singles to give the Bombers a 2-0 lead in the first, and Anthony Rizzo added an RBI single in the second to make it a 3-0 lead.
But the Astros were quick to get back in the game though, as Jeremy Pena tied the game with a three-run home run. Nestor Cortes left the game with a left groin injury right after the home run (he had been checked on by a trainer in the at bat beforehand). Wandy Peralta was the first man out of the pen, but he allowed a double to Alvarez and an RBI single to Kyle Tucker that gave Houston a 4-3 lead.
The Yanks weren’t dead, though, as Rizzo again hit an RBI single in the fourth to tie it up. In the sixth, noted power hitter Harrison Bader hit his fifth home run of the postseason (he had five in the 86 games he played in the regular season) to give New York a 5-4 lead.
But Bader’s homer would be the last Yankee run scored of 2022.
At one point, the conversation was that the Yankees would be one of the best teams ever when they were on pace to shatter the 2001 Seattle Mariners’ record 116 wins. Instead, it’s another failure in the Bronx.
It is the second consecutive World Series appearance by the Astros, and their fourth in six seasons.
This is the Yankees’ third elimination in the ALCS since 2017, all of which have come at the expense of the Astros.
Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 in the loss – he went 1-for-16 (.063) in the series, and 5-for-36 (.139) in the postseason, lowering his career postseason average to .211. This comes after he had one of the best offensive seasons of all time where he hit an AL record 62 home runs and hit .311, the second-best average in the American League.
It’s understandable why Yankees fans hate the Astros – the sign-stealing scandal arguably robbed what seemed to be a destined Yankees team from a World Series in 2017. Plenty think Jose Altuve was wearing a wire in 2019.
But at this point, that hatred should now stem from jealousy – it’s hard not to respect, and envy, the Astros for quite simply having the success every fanbase is jealous of.
Oh, and the Astros are 7-0 in this postseason.