New York – Alex Bregman, Flamber Valdes and the Houston Astros are off to a perfect start this postseason.
Employing a formula that earned them 106 wins in the regular season – strong pitching and home runs – the Astros continued to face the New York Yankees.
With Bregman hitting an early three-run homer and Valdez pitching seven innings, the Astros beat the Yankees 3-2 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.
The Astros improved to 5-0 this postseason after starting this best-of-seven matchup after a sweep.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said, “Some guys got hot. We want to get them all hot before the game is over.”
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge missed a two-run homer in the eighth inning when right fielder Kyle Tucker caught his drive just in front of the short wall. It would have landed on the stadium’s short right field porch – had the roof of Minute Maid Park been open, the wind might have knocked the judges’ bids down.
“I think the open roof killed us,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. Felt.
Valdes put in another solid pitching performance the night after Justin Verlander found 11 in a 4-2 victory in Game 1, and Bregman’s three-inning home run was all the offense Houston needed. .
“We had a really tough pitching staff there,” Bregman said. “They’re really good at it. So they’re trying to scratch and scratch and fight and fight.”
Valdes had just four hits, no walks and nine strikeouts. The only run New York collected was unscored, the fourth after a flustered Valdez committed two errors on the same play.
However, he soon got over the failure and shut down a strong Yankees lineup for the rest of the way. Valdez allowed one baserunner on a single to Harrison Bader with two outs in the fifth after that inning, retiring the last seven batters he faced and striking out the side in the seventh. rice field.
Valdés often talks about his progress, saying that a few years ago he made four mistakes and couldn’t undo them.
“If I went back to 2019, I would probably be done with the game,” he said in Spanish through a translator. is all we’re working on, and we’re continuing to focus and work hard to get better at the game.”
Characterized by his pitch combinations, Valdes recorded 25 swings and misses. He also helped end the Yankees record of 23 consecutive postseason games with a home run.
Brian Abreu pitched a scoreless eighth. Ryan Presley struck 3 for his second save of the series and walked 1 in the scoreless ninth.
After fans took to the field to hug Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and appeared to be about to take a selfie, there was a slight delay before Presley threw the first pitch. After approaching the man and pulling him away from Altuve, he knocked him to the ground, handcuffed him, and escorted him off the field.
The series moves to New York on Saturday three, and the Yankees will try to get out of the hole to avoid losing to Houston in the ALCS for the first time in six years. Former Houston ace Jerrit Cole will start in New York.
Houston is 7-2 overall against the Yankees this year.
A sluggish Altuve struck out after Yankees starter Luis Severino hit Martin Maldonado in the left forearm to start Houston’s third. After Jeremy Peña singled to center, Jordan Alvarez grounded on a forceout in the second.
Bregman then hit a fastball over the left field wall to hit his second home run of the postseason to make it 3–0. It was his 14th home run in the playoffs to pass Justin Turner for most home runs by a third baseman in MLB history.
It was a bit windy at Minute Maid Park, a rare game with an open retractable roof, and I’m not sure how it would affect flyballs. Judges, who set an AL record with 62 home runs during the regular season, gave Houston fans a drive that Tucker grabbed before knocking him into the wall.
The Yankees have batted .138 in two games with the Astros, striking out 30 times against Houston’s 8. The Astros hit three homers in the opening game.
The Astros, who dominated Seattle in the AL Division Series, are unemployed by longtime postseason powerhouse Altuve’s offense.
The three-time batting champion went from 0-for-4 on Thursday to 0-for-23 in this year’s playoffs. This is the longest streak in MLB history with a postseason start without a hit. He passed Dalmaxville in the Cardinals’ 22–0 loss in the 1968 World Series.
”I woke up today. My goal was to win the game.
Judge got the first hit of the series and set the Yankees up in the fourth inning.
Valdez’s playing nightmare then came, committing both defensive and pitching errors. Giancarlo Stanton hit a chopper towards Valdez, probably grabbing it to start a double play, but then dropping it.
Valdez picked up the ball, but fell backwards to the ground the first time he threw it. His toss was offline, with the judges advancing to his third and Stanton advancing to his second.
After watching the ball pass first base, Valdez lay on his back on the grass for a few seconds, put his hand to his face and shook his head before recovering and returning to the mound.
Anthony Rizzo grounded out and the judges made it 3-1.
Gleyber Torres’ single sent Stanton home to put the Yankees within 3-2. However, Valdez held Josh Donaldson and Kyle Higashioka to strikeouts to limit the damage.
Severino allowed five hits, three runs, and six strikeouts in five 1/3 innings.
Cole (2-0, 2.03 ERA this postseason), who led the Astros to the 2019 World Series before signing with the Yankees, will start against New York in Game 3 on Friday. Houston has yet to name a starter, but it will likely be Lance McCullers.
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https://abc7ny.com/mlb-playoffs-new-york-yankees-houston-astros-alcs-game-2/12350668/ MLB Playoffs 2022: New York Yankees lose 3-2 to Houston Astros in ALCS Game 2