About Last Night: It Ends
By Mike Whiteman 10/24/2022
*** Twenty-six years ago:
Andy Pettite threw the game of his life, shutting out Atlanta (with a little help from John Wetteland) 1-0 in Game Five of the 1996 World Series. Who can forget the image of an aching Paul O’Neill willing himself to make the running catch of Luis Polonia’s drive to deep right field to save the game, and perhaps the Series?
The Houston Astros are 7-0 in the 2022 postseason.
The Yankees batted .162 as a team in the ALCS, scoring nine runs in four games.
Aaron Judge had a .139 postseason batting average with two home runs and three RBI.
The Big Story:
With their backs against the wall, The Yankees came out swinging, and put three runs on the board in the first two innings. RBI hits by Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Anthony Rizzo did the damage. Unfortunately, the good feelings ended in the third inning when Jeremy Pena ripped a three-run home run to tie the game. Starting pitcher Nestor Cortes had been laboring, running three-ball counts to many hitters, his velocity becoming lower as the game progressed. Nestor came out of the game afterwards, and we later heard he was struggling with a groin injury. Aaron Boone went to the bullpen option who had served him well throughout the postseason, Wandy Peralta. Unfortunately, Peralta yielded another run before getting out of the inning, but then threw a scoreless fourth. The Yanks came back to tie the score in the bottom of the frame on another RBI hit from Rizzo. They then took a 5-4 lead on a Harrison Bader home run in the sixth. In the seventh, the Yanks gave the lead back, the main culprit being an error by Torres on a possible double play ball. Instead of the Yankees possibly getting out of the inning with the lead intact, the Astros had runners on first and second base with one out. RBI singles by Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman put Houston ahead 6-5. The Astros’ bullpen did the rest, holding the Yankees hitless the last three innings, with Aaron Judge grounding out to the pitcher to end the game and the season. Astros win, 6-5. Player of the Game:
Harrison Bader was moved back to the leadoff spot had had three hits, including a home run.
In addition to his two hits and two RBI, Rizzo made a sparkling heads-up play in the eighth, throwing out Jose Altuve trying to advance from first to third base on an infield ground out.
Better to Forget:
It’s sad to see Judge’s poor postseason performance after his historic season, sadder if this ends up being his farewell to New York, going out with the whimper of grounding out to the pitcher.
They Said It:
“You try to put it in perspective, with obviously families and health and things like that - real tragedies out there. You try to have that perspective. But, you understand keenly what everyone is feeling right now” – Aaron Boone on the devastation of the loss “He means a lot to a lot of us in that room” – Aaron Boone on Aaron Judge
What a disappointing end to a season that once showed so much promise. Next Up:
March 30, 2023, the Yankees host the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium. Hosting the Giants on Opening Day sounds strange to an old fan like myself, but I can’t wait!