The final score of Game Three of the ALCS was 8-1 in favor of the New York Yankees. But that score lies in that the game was never that close. The Astros were done in by awful starting pitching from Charlie Morton and excellent starting pitching from CC Sabathia. The Astros were further harmed by an inability to hit with runners on base. The Astros still lead the series 2-1, but it should surprise no one that the back end of the Astros rotation is just not capable of stacking up to the rest of the Yankees rotation.
TODD FRAZIER: The Yankees offense has been missing from the playoffs. That’s largely because Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander have been so good. But Charlie Morton was on the mound Monday night, and he will never be compared to either Keuchel or Verlander. Todd Frazier took advantage of this by slamming a three-run home run off of Morton in the third inning. This homer accounted for all of the runs that the Yankees needed to win the game.
CC SABATHIA: The Yankee ace was in prime form. He pitched six innings and gave up just three hits while striking out four. He did give up a few walks, and at one point, he let the Astros load the bases. Then he did what an ace did and got out of the inning without surrendering any runs.
AARON JUDGE: The likely AL Rookie of the Year has not had a very good playoffs. But Judge’s fourth inning, three-run home run, made the score 6-0, and he made a big catch in right field. The Astros were already on life support during the game, but Judge’s homer was essentially pulling the plug.
COLLIN MCHUGH: the Astros decided for some reason that McHugh wasn’t worthy of being on the ALDS roster. He was put on the ALCS roster, but still the Astros did not find him worthy of being part of the starting rotation, instead going with Charlie Morton once again. After Morton and Will Harris got beat up by the Yankees, McHugh entered and stopped the damage. McHugh pitched four innings, gave up zero runs and zero hits, and struck out three Yankees.
THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment):
CHARLIE MORTON: The insistence by the Astros on giving Morton postseason starts bit the club on Monday night. He only lasted 3 2/3 innings while giving up six hits and seven runs. For good measure he also walked two batters. It was an awful performance, and the Yankees are one of those teams that feast on awful performances.
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GEORGE SPRINGER: The Astros offense struggled the entire night, but none more so than Springer who struck out twice and left four runners stranded on the bases. This is not a good look for the first guy in the batting order.
JOSE ALTUVE: Altuve is the heart-and-soul of the Astros and of the Astros offense. So last night the Astros offense was dead on arrival. Aluve was zero-for-four from the plate, and he stranded six runners.
THE ASTROS OFFENSE: The Astros offense is built to score lots and lots of runs. There is power up and down the order. This offense is real important on those nights when the starting pitching is mediocre. Unfortunately, the offense was shut down by Sabathia and the rest of the Yankees pitching staff (in reality, the offense has been shut down by the Yankee pitchers the entire series, but Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander were just so good that it didn’t matter). The offense generated only four hits on Monday night. Eleven runners were left on base, and the offense was one-for-seven with runners in scoring position.
Game Four of the ALCS is Tuesday afternoon on FS1 meaning, once again, that Astros fans are getting shafted by MLB so that the Dodgers and Cubs can have the primetime audience. Lance McCullers, Jr., who has struggled mightily in the second half of this season, battling injuries and the inability to throw strikes, gets the start for the Astros while Sonny Gray will start the game for the Yankees.