The Yankees fell to the Houston Astros in six games. The two are obviously very evenly matched, however, the Astros feel a smidge better.
Why? For my money, there are two reasons.
The first being the Astros, unlike the Yankees, hit the big home runs and hit them with runners on base.
There’s a narrative that the Yankees didn’t hit well enough with runners in scoring position. That’s true, but if you look statistically, the Astros batting average was worse.
The difference is that their hits and their home runs were far more impactful.
The second narrative being floated around New York City is that the Yankees lost this series because of their pitching.
Well, not exactly. The Yankee starter and bullpen ERA was lower than Houston’s in this series.
However, the fact that the Yankees did not get consistent length from their starting pitchers put them in a dicier predicament.
The Yankees were forced to use the same group of top relievers multiple times throughout the series, and that’s only going to help the opposing hitters, who get more chances to eye up those power arms.
The Yankees did not lose this series because of their pitching, but it was obvious that the Astros had two starters who could go deep into games at will, while the Yankees did not on a consistent level.
Make no mistake, losing the ALCS for this Yankees group was going to hurt no matter what. However, the Yankees added a loss to this chapter of their history that will forever live in infamy.
To experience the euphoria of DJ LeMahieu’s game-tying 9th inning homer in Game 6, only to have it turn into the ultimate heartbreak of a Jose Altuve walk-off homer in the bottom half of the inning, will haunt Yankees fans all winter.
Despite what you may hear in the weeks to come, the Yankees have a really good roster and a very deep team.
However, they’re chasing a team that may have a chance to become a mini-dynasty in the Houston Astros.
The Yankees primary focus this offseason should be to figure out how they as a franchise can get over the Houston hump.
In the late 1970’s, the Yankees owned the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS. The Royals finally slayed the beast in 1980.
This Yankees team will have to follow the same blueprint.
It’s problem bigger than Texas. Now the work for Brian Cashman begins.
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