Houston Astros All-Star Jose Altuve hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 6 of the ALCS 6-4 and knock out the New York Yankees. The Astros clinched the American League pennant and move on to the World Series for the second time in three seasons.
The World Series starts Tuesday, October 22 in Houston. The Astros will face the Washington Nationals, who swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2019 NLCS.
The Astros defeated the Yankees for a second time in the ALCS in the last three seasons. In 2017, the Astros clinched the AL pennant and went on to defeat the LA Dodgers to win the World Series.
Coming into the 2019 World Series, the Astros are a heavy favorite at -230. The Nationals are now 2/1 odds to win the championship.
Mattress Mack’s $3.5 million bet on the Astros to win the World Series is still alive and kicking.
Joe Buck’s BFF Jose Altuve Wins MVP
Jose Altuve secured the ALCS MVP with an impressive .349/.417./.767 slashline. He hit five home runs in the postseason with 8 RBI. But he saved the biggest hit for the most crucial moment in Game 6.
The Astros blew a 4-2 lead going into the top of the ninth inning. DJ LeMahieu worked a 10-pitch at-bat and crushed a home run off Astros’ closer Roberto Osuna. That tied the game at 4-4 with the game heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman got the first two batters out. He issued a two-out walk to George Springer. Chapman faced Jose Altuve. If Chapman got out of the inning, then Game 6 would head to extra innings.
“Jose Altuve was up to bat,” said Brad Peacock said. “We knew it was going to end right there.”
Chapman failed to sneak a slider by Altuve, who tagged it 400 feet over the wall in left center. The Astros won 6-4 with Altuve’s walk-off home run.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Chapman said with an interpreter. “I couldn’t believe he hit the ball. Tough time in the game. He hit the ball well, and just for that split second, I just couldn’t believe it.”
GO CRAZY, HOUSTON!!! pic.twitter.com/QCOSDExsSV
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 20, 2019
No one was more excited for the walk-off home run by Altuve than Joe Buck. So much for the adage, “There’s no rooting in the press box.” Announcers were supposed to be impartial. I could care less that Buck openly loathes the Yankees, but his man-crush on Jose Altuve escalated from amusing to dangerous “Stan” territory.
Savage Replacements Down, Gassed Pen, Dormant Bats
The Yankees bullpen looked visibly gassed after a long season and longer ALCS. Starters pitched only 24 innings in the ALCS. The bullpen hurled 31 innings against the Astros. It’s no surprise that when the Yankees got at least 6 innings from a starter in the ALCS, they won both those games and were 2-0. When a starter pitched fewer than six innings, the Yanks were 0-4.
No one took the loss harder than slugger Aaron Judge, who blamed himself for the losses in Game 4 and Game 6.
“It’s a failure. In spring training we talked about winning the division and putting ourselves in a good spot in the postseason to win the World Series,” said Judge. “We came up short, so no matter how many games we won in the regular season or what else we did, the season’s a failure.”
The Replacement Yankees overachieved all season despite the rash of injuries. No one expected that Aaron Boone’s “Savages” would have made it this far considering they did not have Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, and Dellin Betances all season.
Even the most loyal Yankees fans never would’ve imagines that a team made up of half of the AAA farm club would even make the postseason, let alone win 105 games. Despite the success with non-marquee names, the loss in the ALCS still stung.
Pinstripes Finale for CC and Gardy?
The hardest part for this Yankees squad is that it might truly be the final games for beloved veterans outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher CC Sabathia.
“This group of guys, we spent the last nine months together basically every single day,” Gardner said. “Over the course of the season, guys grow close. And just like that, with a swing of the bat, it’s all over. It’ll take a while to get over. Some of us may never get over it.”
There’s an outside chance Gardner signs an inexpensive one-year deal and returns next season, but Sabathia is now officially retired.