Astros take ALCS over Yankees, World Series bound!
The Houston Astros are the 2019 American League Champions, knocking out the Yankees four games to two. On to the World Series and the Washington Nationals.
Managers AJ Hinch and Aaron Boone were playing a game of chess with their relief pitchers, each making their move and counter move, pitcher against pitcher, inning after inning. Fourteen pitchers later, it was the Astros checkmating the Yankees. Houston takes the American League Crown and the privilege to move on to the World Series.
The Astros wasted no time, scoring three runs off of Chad Green in the first inning. Jose Altuve started it off with a line-drive double to center field, followed by Alex Bregman reaching on a walk two batters later. After a visit to the mound by the Yankees, Yuli Gurriel steps up to the plate and lined a three-run homer to left field. Houston 3 – Yankees 0
The Yankees would answer right back in the next half-inning. Didi Gregorius hits a two-out double off of Brad Peacock and scores on Gary Sanchez‘s single. After Peacock walks the next batter his night is done and Josh James comes in to close out the inning. Two innings later, Jose Urquidy surrenders a home run to Gio Urshela to tighten the game up. Houston 3 – Yankees 2
The Astros would take a run back in the sixth inning. Altuve starts it off with a walk and advances to third on Michael Brantley‘s single to right field. Next batter, Alex Bregman grounds into a force out scoring Altuve. Houston 4 – Yankees 2
Houston brings in closer Roberto Osuna to ice it and close out the game, the Astros are just three outs away from taking the series. But the Yankees weren’t about to lay down that easily. Urshela opens up the inning with a sharp line drive single to left field. Two batters later, DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run shot just over George Springer‘s glove. Houston 4 – Yankees 4
The Yankees counter by bringing in their top closer Aroldis Chapman in to keep the Astros silent and the game alive. Chapman gets the first two batters out and their one out away from going into extra innings. He then walks Springer and up to the plate walks Jose Altuve, who has already hit four homers in these postseason games. Just like it was written in a script, Altuve hits a no-doubter, walk-off two-run shot. Houston wins their second AL Championship in three years.
The Astros and the Yankees both ended up using seven relief pitchers in the “Battle of the Bullpens”. It all came down to two of the top closers in the league and both faltered in their duties, but the Astros were the last ones standing. Now it all starts over again Tuesday, a new series, the World Series. The last step for the Houston Astros to “Take it Back”.