Yankees miss a chance to win ALCS opener

Yankees players in the dugout after their loss
Michael Bennington
Thursday October 20, 2022

Table of Contents

The Yankees had a chance to steal the first ALCS game. But they couldn’t. Game 1 ended with a 4-2 defeat for them and the Houston Astros took a 1-0 lead after the Yankees made some unpredicted errors.

The overall planning is also to shoulder the blame for the debacle. Manager Aaron Boone asked too much of his main relievers to beat Cleveland in the Division Series in five games. He got the result. But in the ALCS Game 1, Boone decided to keep them in his back pocket and deal with the results. He was counting on Clarke Schmidt and Frankie Montas to do well. And both failed to give the Yankees a required win.

Also, the Yankees lost because of their offense. Justin Verlander stood rock solid and they failed to hit against his pitch count in the first three innings. The Yankees never got a hit that mattered besides Harrison Bader’s solo homer. Josh Donaldson and Matt Carpenter, who were fifth and sixth in the order, were especially bad. They struck out in seven of their eight at-bats.

Of course, Boone wanted to win Game 1, take home-field advantage, and show quickly that this could be different from 2015, 2017, and 2019 when Houston knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs. But he also used his ALCS lineup as a test run.

Giancarlo Stanton made his first start in the outfield since July 21. Carpenter was starting from scratch for the first time since August 8. Montas played his first game since September 16th. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was back starting, even though he seemed to have been kicked out of shortstop. Miguel Castro came back, even though he did not pitch in the Division Series.

After the Astros won the first game 4-2, Boone seemed to be trying to figure out what he had for this best-of-seven series.

Andrew Benintendi and DJ LeMahieu‘s professional bats never came back, so the Yankees had to stick with Donaldson and try out Carpenter. They also had to rely more than ever on home runs. Ron Marinaccio’s shin wound also didn’t get better enough for Boone to trust him more. So he keeps going to Schmidt, but nothing good comes of it.

At first, neither Verlander nor Taillon were very good. But Verlander is still doing well at 39 and is a Hall of Famer. When his team needs it, he has good pitches to offer. In the first, Donaldson got two on when he was hit by a pitch with two outs and made an error. Strikeout. Harrison Bader hit his fourth home run in his first six postseason games in the second game. He was the first Yankee ever to do this.

With one out in the third, the Yankees’ runners were on second and third because Anthony Rizzo walked and Stanton doubled. Donaldson and Carpenter swung their bats. That was the start of a stretch where Verlander struck out six Yankees in a row. In six innings, he didn’t let anyone else get on base. He struck out 11 batters.

Offense sinks Yankees

The Yankees’ offense was shut down by Justin Verlander while Clarke Schmidt and Frankie Montas allowed the Astros’ offense to flourish against their bullpen. The Astros, who haven’t lost yet in the playoffs, pulled away for the win, and the Yankees couldn’t come back.

Jameson Taillon had only pitched once since October 4. When Schmidt took over in the fifth inning, he got the team out of a tight spot. But Yuli Gurriel led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run that put his team ahead, and Chas McCormick hit a solo home run one out later.

In the seventh, Jeremy Pea hit a home run to start the game. This made the score 4-1. With two outs and Rafael Montero on the mound in the eighth, Anthony Rizzo hit a home run off of him. This got the Yankees within two runs.

Josh Donaldson, who had struck out in his first three at-bats of the night, came home on a walk after Giancarlo Stanton’s single. When Matt Carpenter came up to bat against Houston’s closer Ryan Pressly, he struck out for the fourth time in a row to end the threat.

After getting Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge out to start the game, Verlander hit Rizzo with a 0-2 pitch, and Stanton reached base when Jose Altuve made a throwing error. But Donaldson was out on a swing, and the inning was over. It was the first of 17 times that the Yankees didn’t hit the ball.

In the top of the second, Harrison Bader gave the Yankees the lead with his fourth home run of the postseason, a single blast to left-center. But it went in vein.

What do you think led to the Yankees’ ALCS Game 1 defeat?

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!