Astros battle Yankees in ALCS

Posted 10/15/19

The Houston Astros avoided the almost certain death sentence of an 0-2 start at home in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) on Sunday when Carlos Correa sent the bottom of the eleventh inning’s first pitch into the right field bleachers.

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Astros battle Yankees in ALCS

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The Houston Astros avoided the almost certain death sentence of an 0-2 start at home in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) on Sunday when Carlos Correa sent the bottom of the eleventh inning’s first pitch into the right field bleachers.

It was Correa’s second LCS walk off knock against the Yankees in the last two years and sent the Astros to the Bronx with the series even at a game apiece. Gerrit Cole toed the rubber in a pivotal game three matchup at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

Justin Verlander’s lone game two blemish was a two-run homerun by New York’s Aaron Judge in the top of the fourth inning, which gave the Yankees a one-run lead at the time. He was relieved after 6.2 innings and bullpen arms Will Harris, Roberto Osuna, Joe Smith, Ryan Pressly and Josh James kept the highly-touted New York offense at bay until Correa finally broke the tie in the eleventh. James, who recorded the final out of the top half, earned the win for Houston.

Correa also put the Astros on the board in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI-double that scored Alex Bregman. George Springer left the yard in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at two.

Game two was nothing short of a must-win for Houston, but the offense is still a concern moving forward as the series shifts northeast. The Astros got blanked 7-0 by the Yankees in game one, meaning they have scored just three runs in 20 LCS inning so far.

The good news is that Cole is the hottest pitcher on the team. They will have to steal at least one in the Bronx to keep their World Series aspirations alive and will likely need to steal two to feel comfortable.

Either way, it appears that this series is destined for six or seven games, just like the 2017 ALCS.

On the other side, the Washington Nationals have stunned the St. Louis Cardinals by jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the NLCS and are just one win away from advancing to their first World Series since moving to D.C. in 2005.

The Nationals, who lost Bryce Harper to a record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason, have amazingly improved without the superstar and continue to astonish the baseball world with their October heroics.

Washington’s most surprising achievement may have been knocking off the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series last week. The Dodgers, who have lost in either the World Series or the NLCS in each of the last three years, remain unable to close out a championship bid despite one of baseball’s most prolific rosters.

If an 0-2 disadvantage at home is a death sentence, an 0-3 deficit in any capacity pretty much spells the end of the series. The Boston Red Sox remain the only team to ever fight back from an 0-3 LCS deficit. Boston accomplished this task by knocking off the New York Yankees in 2004 before advancing to the World Series.

This was one of the most impressive things to happen in the history of baseball and sports in general. Do not expect the Cardinals to join them.

I mean no disrespect to Washington, who have surprised countless baseball experts in their run thus far, but it is hard for me not to see the matchup between the Yankees and Astros as the true World Series. These are clearly the best teams in baseball and I expect the ALCS winner to take care of the Nationals in six games or less.

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