Aroldis Chapman allowed a walk-off double to Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander stifled the Yankees with 13 strikeouts in New York's 2-1 loss in Game 2 of the ALCS in Houston. The Yankees are trailing in the series 2-0. << Box Score
Correa put the first run on the board for either team when he hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. A 12-year-old fan attempted to catch Correa's liner to right field, however, the umpires did not call fan interference as the ball seemed to be out of the reach of Aaron Judge.
In the next half inning, Todd Frazier (1-for-3) evened the game at one apiece with a ground rule double that scored Aaron Hicks.
Luis Severino allowed two hits and one run in four innings before making way for the Yankees' bullpen. Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson combined to throw four innings and allowed just a single hit, but Chapman gave up a one-out single to Jose Altuve and the game-winning double to Correa in the bottom of the ninth.
In the postseason, it's the big plays that make the difference between winning and losing. In Game 2, the Astros performed a good relay to nail a runner, while the Yankees butchered a "relay" at two of the three ends of the play to allow the winning run to score.
With Jose Altuve, one of the best base runners - actually players - in the game on the bases it is imperative that fielders do their best to get balls in from the outfield as quickly as possible and preferably to the cutoff man. On a hit to right field, Aaron Judge simply lobbed in a ball hit to the outfield to second base versus throwing hard to the cutoff man. Didi Gregorius did his best to get something on the ball, but Gary Sanchez could not handle the throw (which beat Altuve) and it allowed Altuve to score all the way from first. The worst part is that the ball dropped in front of Judge. It was a terrible play and it cost the Yankees the game.
New York is getting extraordinary pitching against the league's top-rated offensive club, but the Astros are dominating the second-best offense in the game. For the second straight game, the Yankees struck out an exorbitant amount of times (13), with some players simply looking as though they have lost the ability to manage a good at-bat. Houston has scored the extra run in both games and the Yankees are going back to New York, hoping they left their bats that work in the home clubhouse.
The Yankee may have come back down 0-2 in the division series, but at least they hit the ball well in one of those games. The Yankees will have the benefit of being home for three games and possible pitching matchup advantages in Games 3 and 4, but they need to hit and stop making mental mistakes. The Astros are not succumbing to any mishaps and that's the difference in this series.