Yanks & Judge Were “This Close”… Houston 3 NY 2

Astros Kyle Tucker catches Aaron Judge's shot at the wall in the 8th that might have won game for NY had it been a foot or two deeper.

Aaron Judge hit a drive to the opposite field that was caught at top of the wall in the 8th inning — 2 more feet and it would have been a 2-run homer and maybe the Yanks win this game 4-3.

But it wasn’t.

It would have been a homerun at Yankee Stadium. But they were playing in Houston.

Judge didn’t think it was going out: “Not with the way the wind was playing; it was blowing pretty hard to left field so I kind of hit it to the wrong part of the park that’s for sure. I was out there for 7,8 innings on defense so I felt that wind kind of howling, so the minute I hit it I kinda knew what the result would be.”

PS: the night before the Astros had the dome closed.

“Who would have thought,” said Aaron Boone afterwards. “I think the roof open kind of killed us.” MLB made the decision to have the roof open, as it was 78 degrees outside at game time.

Houston’s 3 runs came on one blow — a 3-run homer by Alex Bregman with 2 outs in the 3rd, off Luis Severino — the only mistake he made in otherwise pitching a great game.

The Yankees got 2 runs right back in the top of the 4th on an Aaron Judge single, throwing error by pitcher Framber Valdez on a Giancarlo Stanton comebacker, groundout RBI by Anthony Rizzo, and infield single and RBI by Gleyber Torres.

And that was it for the scoring.

Framber Valdez pitched great, striking out 9 Yanks through 7 innings with his curveball, and NY couldn’t get a run against the Astro pen.

The last 5 innings the score sat at 3-2 and Yankee fans watched and waited and rooted and hoped for 1 more run; 1 long ball. Judge came close, but it never came.

The Yanks head back to NY down 2-0 in games.

1. Severino Looked Strong

Luis Severino pitched great — sans the 3rd inning when he hit Martin Maldonado with a pitch leading off, allowed a 1-out single to Jeremy Pena, and then with 2 outs, on a 1-2 pitch, threw a 97 fastball that Bregman hit for a 3-run homer to left.

After that, Severino mowed the Astros down into the 6th. He was helped by some splendid defense behind him, particularly at shortstop where Oswaldo Peraza made his first start in the post season. Peraza made several tremendous defensive plays during the evening.

Severino finished with 5.1 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 6 K’s, 1 walk.

As the announcers said on the national broadcast, his performance bodes well for NY if he pitches again in this series.

2. Valdez Tremendous

On the other hill was Framber Valdez and he was light’s out — besides the trouble he ran into in the top of the 4th, due mainly to his own error.

Valdez was 17-6 2.82 on the season, and he rocked his curveball all night to strikeout Yanks one after another.

3. Loaisiga Gets Double Plays

Severino gave up a 1-out single in the 6th and was relieved by Jonathan Loaisiga who allowed another single before getting Aledmys Díaz to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the 7th, Loaisiga walked Maldonado with 1 out. Jose Altuve hit a grounder up the middle that Gleyber Torres made a tremendous stop on, while on the ground, and then flipping to Oswaldo Peraza who got the out at 2nd, spun, and threw a bullet to 1st for a double play, as Anthony Rizzo scooped up the one-hop throw. Spectacular play on all ends.

4. Judge Just Missed

And then to the 8th when Harrison Bader worked a 3-2 walk off Bryan Abreu, and Aaron Judge hit the drive to right that ‘just missed’ going out — Kyle Tucker catching it at top of the right field wall.

In the 9th, Astros ace reliever Bryan Pressly struck out the 1st two batters but Josh Donaldson worked a 3-2 walk giving NY one last chance. Tim Locastro ran for Donaldson and Matt Carpenter stepped up.

On a 1-2 pitch, Locastro took off for 2nd and had the base stolen, but simultaneously Carpenter checked his swing on a curveball, but went around too much for strike 3 and the old ballgame.

The Boxscore



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