BRONX, N.Y. — There’s not much to say about this game that you couldn’t see with your own eyes. Outside Yankee Stadium was a wedding reception party. Inside the cathedral, was a wake. New York Yankees fans hope that Sunday isn’t a funeral. A 5-0 blanking to the Houston Astros, placed the pinstripes in a 3-0 hole in this ALCS.
Nobody is smiling anymore, well, except for that washed-up fool Josh Donaldson.
Even with a raucous crowd and ace Gerrit Cole toeing the slab in the Boogey down Bronx, the Yankees played the opposite of loose and free. They were the inverse of a Joe Torre quote, tense without being intense. For eight innings, to quote Bob Uecker, playing the announcer Harry Doyle, in this exchange from the movie “Major League,” “one hit, that’s all we got, one goddamn hit? You can’t say goddamn on the air! Don’t worry, nobody’s listening.”
As for Cole, he was solid, not lights out but again, he’s not allowed to hit for himself. Alas, the unraveling came in the second stanza. With two outs, Christian Vazquez lifted a ball to right-center. Harrison Bader called for the ball and nearly collided with Aaron Judge, before nearly catching but dropping the third out for an error. The ensuing batter Chas McCormick (as the bottom part of the Houston order has done all series) made the Yanks pay. McCormick porched a two-run tater to right for a 2-0 edge.
Cole pushed into the sixth inning before running into trouble. Alex Bregman doubled to left, Kyle Tucker walked and Yuli Gurriel singled to right to chase Cole. With a fresh bullpen, manager Aaron Boone called on Lou Trivino for some reason. Either you stick with your ace and let him win it or lose it there or use one of your better relievers. Trivino allowed a sacrifice fly RBI to left to Trey Mancini and a two-run single to left by Vazquez to top off the Astros’ scoring at 5-0.
Miguel Castro and Domingo German made appearances later in the game and pitched well, so there was that.
On the other end, Cristian Javier, who along with the Houston bullpen, combined to no-hit the Yankees this season, tossed 5.1 frames of one-hit ball, with Giancarlo Stanton doubling to right in the fourth.
Otherwise, the “big Yankee rallies” were a pair of walks in the eighth and a couple of hits by Matt Carpenter and Bader in the ninth. Riveting stuff.
So, the Yankees are guaranteed to play one more day. The Stadium crowd will be loud either because the Bronx Bombers are back or because they’re calling on Brian Cashman and Boone to be fired and for Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly to be hired.
Here we are Bronx faithful, make history or be history, starting Sunday night.