The turning point that sealed Yankees’ fate in Game 4

Jonathan Loaisiga looks dejected Yankees player after losing game to the Astros.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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NEW YORK — The Yankees played well during ALCS Game 4 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. However, two turning points took the game away from them and allowed the Astros to take a lead and eventually win. One of them is a defensive error by the Yankees.

During the American League Championship Series, the Yankees were upset about what they thought was good luck for the Astros or at least good breaks their opponents got. After the Astros won Game 4 by a score of 6-5 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, they won’t have to think about another inning that went completely in their favor until next year.

With eight more outs, New York could have kept the series going for at least one more day and given itself a chance to get back on track. The Astros put an end to all of that talk in the seventh inning and that made all the difference they needed to win the game.

“Inches win you ballgames,” Astros manager Dusty Baker proudly declared, “You’ve got to take them however you can get them.”

Altuve got his “fraction of an inch” by hurrying down the first-base line. His hit was fifth slowest at 49.3 mph. Anthony Rizzo moved to his right while Jonathan Loáisiga run to shield the first base. At first, Rizzo’s throw to Loaisiga was very close but Altuve was lucky to reach there safely. The Yankees asked for a review. Even after watching the race to the bag many times over, it was impossible to tell who won. Since it was too close to call, Altuve got the benefit of the doubt.

Even that was a big deal against Loáisiga, whose sinker was making Astros bats fly all over the place. When he came in to pitch in the fourth, he got Alex Bregman to hit into a double play right away. He then got Kyle Tucker to hit a weak grounder to end the inning. In the sixth, he got three more groundouts, two of which were because the bats broke. He started the seventh by striking out Martin Maldonado.

Then Altuve’s dash down the first-base line broke open the door, and the Yankee‘s defense pushed it open all the way.

Jeremy Pea made strong contact on a Loáisiga sinker, but it went right to Gleyber Torres at second base for a perfect double play. Torres’ throw to shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, on the other hand, was well off, and everyone was safe.

Pena later said:

“Their pitcher had great stuff, so whenever you can get on base, that’s a plus against him. We always try to pass the baton to the next guy, and we passed it to Yordan (Alvarez) there.”

The Astros made sure that the Yankees’ mistake would hurt just like what happened after Harrison Bader and Aaron Judge failed to coordinate and catch a fly ball in Game 3. Alvarez, who came into the game with six strikeouts in 10 at-bats this series, looked like he was about to break out when he hit a double in the third inning. He ended up being the punisher. He hit a 109.3 mph sinker to right field on the first pitch, which was the Astros’ hardest hit of the game and brought in Altuve to tie the game. Bregman then hit another sinker into right field, scoring Pea with what turned out to be the game-winning run.

The Astros turned a bad night into a champagne celebration with just two balls that never left the infield and two base hits to right.

In their season-ending loss to the Astros, the Yankees make another big mistake on defense. In fact, the New York Yankees’ weak point in the MLB playoffs this year was their defense.

The Yankees’ season ended on Sunday when the Houston Astros beat them 6-5 in Game 4 of the ALCS to win the series 4-0. The Yankees were ahead 5-4 going into the seventh inning, but they lost when Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa couldn’t make a double play on a ball that would have ended the inning. Kiner-Falefa was not hit by the ball that Torres threw, so everyone was safe.

Torres was blamed for the mistake, which cost him a lot of money. Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman then hit singles that drove in runs, giving the Astros a 6-5 lead (which ended up being the final score). The Yankees’ season was ended by the Houston Astros for the third time in the last six years.

In Game 3, when they lost to the Astros, the Yankees also lost because of a huge mistake on defense. They probably won’t get over the fact that they didn’t do their job on the field until the next season starts.

Do you agree that these Yankees’ defensive mistakes let them down?

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