New game, same story: The Houston Astros took ALCS Game 3 from New York Yankees using a sturdy pitching stick to dash any hope of offense. This time, they allowed just three hits in a 5-0 victory, overpowering the Yankee Stadium crowd and taking a 3-0 series lead. The Astros, in their sixth straight ALCS, are now one win away from their fourth World Series in six years — and their third playoff triumph over New York.
Christian Javier, a breakout arm in 2022, made its first playoff start Saturday night following the Oct. 12 relief outings. He struck out five Yankees, walked three and allowed just one hit. Houston didn’t exactly hammer Gerrit Cole, but they applied enough pressure to post five points. First, Chas McCormick threw a two-run homer after a Harrison Bader and Judge Aaron miscommunication in the outfield extended an inning.
Then Cole walked off with the bases loaded in sixth, only to watch the reliever Lou Trivino allow all three runners to score. In total, the Yankees ace was charged with five runs, only three of which were earned.
A stagnant Yankees offense reached the low point of its dismal streak. Giancarlo StantonThe fourth-inning brace was their only hit before the ninth inning, when the Yankees issued a brief but futile challenge. Manager Aaron Boone’s second squad reshuffle – moving Anthony Rizo to the starting point – still did not find joy.
Houston Trade Deadline Acquisitions Trey Mancini and Christian Vazquez found the key RBIs in that sixth inning to silence Yankee Stadium. Generally relegated to the bench, the duo have established themselves as reports indicate Astros owner Jim Crane may not retain general manager James Click — whom he hired in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal.
But regardless of the Astros’ longer-term future, the immediate future involves a chance to sweep the Yankees and head to the World Series. They’ll have Lance McCullers Jr. on the mound trying to do just that on Sunday at 7:07 p.m. ET. He will face Nestor Cortes Jr. of the Yankees, ALDS Game 5 hero against Cleveland.
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