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The Yankees fought back, but ultimately Jose Altuve's walk-off home run ended their season, sending the Astros to the World Series with a 6-4 win. >> Box Score
Five things to know from Saturday's game
1) The Yankees gave everyone a dramatic finish but when all was said and done, the Astros left no doubt about which team was better in this series, as they won it in six games. They outplayed the Yankees in big ways and small, with stronger starting pitching, more game-changing home runs, smarter baserunning and especially sparkling defense, making some great plays that proved crucial in Game 6.
That said the Yankees showed tremendous grit, not only in fighting back from a 3-1 deficit in the series but more so after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning of Game 6, finally tying it 4-4 in the ninth inning on D.J. LeMahieu's two-run home run.
It was only fitting that LeMahieu delivered when it counted most, after doing it all season, leading the majors in hitting with runners in scoring position at .389 while leaving no doubt he was the Yankees' MVP.
Not so fitting was the bullpen, considered the Yankees' biggest strength in this post-season, losing the game only moments later as Aroldis Chapman gave up the game-winning home run to Jose Altuve.
If any one thing hurt them the most, it was the offensive failures, as the Yankees went 6-for-35 with runners in scoring position, coming up empty time and time again.
2) By the late innings the Yankees had to be feeling as if it weren't meant to be, after watching the Astros make two diving catches in the outfield that may well have been game-changers.
With out and runners at first and second in the sixth inning, Brett Gardner hit a sinking liner to right that Josh Reddick caught just before it hit the grass, a ball that easily could have skipped by him for an extra-base hit and one or two Yankee runs.
Then in the seventh, with Aaron Judge on first and one out, Aaron Hicks blooped a ball to left that Michael Brantley caught with a similar spectacular play and got up to turn it into a double play with a strong throw to first. Great play, but Judge made a baserunning mistake, going all the way to second, thinking the ball was going to fall.
3) Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning, Aaron Boone opted to play conservatively when the Astros put runners on first and third with no outs, and it cost him. In that spot he elected to have the Yankees play the infield back, protecting against the big inning, but that late in the game it's awfully hard to concede even one more run, especially with runs so hard to come by for the Yankees.
As it turned out, Alex Bregman hit a ground ball to short that would have resulted in an easy out at the plate with the infield playing in, had Jose Altuve tried to score from third. Or maybe Didi Gregorius would have looked Altuve back to third and gotten at least one out, either at second or first.
Instead Gregorius tried to turn two, allowing Altuve to score without a play. Bregman beat the throw to first, but even if the Yanks had turned two, they conceded what at the time loomed as a crucial insurance run.
4) Huge moment in the game: Gregorius came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning, with the Yankees trailing 3-1 Facing curve-ball specialist Ryan Pressly, Didi swung at the first pitch, rolling over on a curve ball for a weak ground out to second.
Gregorius has a reputation as a first-pitch, fastball hitter, but he had to know the right-handed Pressly's curve ball is the main reason he dominated lefties this year, holding them to a crazy-good .124 batting average.
If the Yankee shortstop was selling out for a first-pitch fastball, he must not have read the scouting report.
5) The Yankees played the odds early and it burned them. Chad Green clearly pitched around Alex Bregman in the first inning with a runner on second and two outs, preferring to take his chances with Yuli Gurriel, who was 1-for-20 in the series at the time.
Obviously Bregman is a major threat, having just finished an MVP-caliber season, but it's always dangerous putting runners on base like that so early in the game, and Green paid for it when Gurriel jumped his first-pitch fastball and lined it into the Crawford Boxes in left for a three-run home run.