The New York Yankees managed just three singles and were shut out by the Houston Astros, 3-0, in Tuesday’s Wild Card game, ending their season (Oct. 6).
Manager Joe Girardi said RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed two solo home runs in five innings, pitched well, but made a few mistakes (Oct. 6).
Jacoby Ellsbury was benched for Tuesday’s game and went 0-for-1 in his pinch-hit at-bat (Oct. 6).
The Yankees brought nine pitchers with them for Tuesday’s game (Oct. 6).
Players have been supportive of CC Sabathia after he announced he will check himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center (Oct. 6).
Yankees manager Joe Girardi discusses his team’s heart after its season-ending 3-0 loss to the Astros in the AL Wild Card Game.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi spoke with the media after Tuesday night’s season-ending loss to the Astros in the Wild Card game.
“When seasons end abruptly, it’s very difficult,” Girardi said. “This was a club that fought all year and there’s a lot of character in that room and this hurts. We just didn’t get it done.”
Girardi said that Masahiro Tanaka — who allowed two runs in five innings — pitched well, but that he made a few mistakes.
“He just made some mistakes,” Girardi said. “He had a fastball he kind of pulled to (Colby) Rasmus. He left a breaking ball up to (Carlos) Gomez. A lot of nights you give up two runs in five innings, you’ve got a pretty good chance to win. But we just haven’t been able to solve (Dallas) Keuchel this year. We haven’t been able to do it.”
Girardi left the dugout in the fourth inning to speak with home plate umpire Eric Cooper, but said any discussion of the umpiring on Tuesday night would wait “for another day.”
On whether the Yankees underachieved or overachieved this season, Girardi suggested that he wasn’t the best person to ask.
“I think that’s for other people to decide,” Girardi said. “When the season started, no one thought we would be here. And I told the guys in that room, they gave me everything they had…everything. Physically, it’s not a very healthy group in there right now at the end of the season. Guys are beat up. But they never stopped playing, they never stopped playing hard, they never stopped giving me everything they had. I’m extremely proud of that group in there.”
The Yankees managed just three hits all game and were shut out by Dallas Keuchel and three Astros relievers as they lost, 3-0, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium in the Wild Card game. The Astros will move on to face the Royals in the ALDS.
With the loss, the Yankees season has come to a close.
Colby Rasmus led off the second inning with a long home run to right field to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Leading off the fourth inning, Carlos Gomez hit a home run to left field to increase Houston’s lead to 2-0.
With two outs in the seventh inning and a runner on second base, Jose Altuve looped an RBI single to left field off Dellin Betances to make it 3-0 Astros.
In what was their best scoring chance of the night, the Yankees had runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth inning. However, Alex Rodriguez then flew out on the first pitch to end the threat.
Houston starter Dallas Keuchel allowed three hits while walking one and striking out seven in six innings. Keuchel, who was pitching on three-days rest for the first time in his career, threw 87 pitches. Astros relievers Tony Sipp and Will Harris combined to throw two scoreless innings in relief of Keuchel, and closer Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to seal the win.
Masahiro Tanaka allowed two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three in five innings. Justin Wilson relieved Tanaka to start the sixth inning and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings before being relieved by Betances with one out in the seventh inning.
Brett Gardner, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, was booed loudly after grounding out in the eighth inning.
The Yankees and manager Joe Girardi were unhappy with the strike zone of home plate umpire Eric Cooper, with Girardi leaving the dugout to talk with Cooper after the top of the fourth inning ended.
I wrote yesterday that Masahiro Tanaka would have to keep up with Dallas Keuchel for the Yankees to have a chance tonight. Tanaka couldn’t quite do it, but it was more about Keuchel’s dominance of the Yankees offense than Tanaka being awful. The home run ball, which hurt Tanaka all season at Yankee Stadium, bit him a couple times in the game on poorly located pitches. Otherwise, Tanaka kept the Yankees close.
It was telling that Joe Girardi feared the offense was not going to explode at any point, as he began using his best relievers in the sixth inning to try and keep the game close. Justin Wilson got four outs, Dellin Betances recorded five (while allowing a run) and Andrew Miller pitched a clean ninth inning, but this game was about the absent Yankees offense.
No matter who the Astros put on the mound after Keuchel left, it never seemed like the Yankees could put anything of consequence together. The Yankees were only able to get two runners on base in the same inning once in the game. They did not get a runner past second base.
The Yankees were not expected to get to this point of the season, so there is some feeling of satisfaction that they reached the postseason. But the biggest success of the season has to be the Yankees hanging onto their top prospects (Luis Severino and Greg Bird) at the trade deadline and getting a glimpse of how important they will be to the club’s future.
The Yankees methodology of roster construction and farm system rebuilding over the last few seasons has begun to pay off, and there could be a solid core of young players helping the Yankees to future postseason appearances.
SNY.tv’s Christopher Carelli is the founder of Yankees Unscripted, a site devoted to narrative-free commentary about the New York Yankees. Follow Christopher on Twitter, @Chris_Carelli, for up to the minute coverage of the team.
The Yankees (87-75) and Astros (86-76) will play in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday at 8:08 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. The winner will play the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS.
Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51 ERA) will face Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA).
|1. Brett Gardner (L) CF
||1. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
|2. Chris Young (R) LF
||2. George Springer (R) RF
|3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF
||3. Carlos Carrea (R) SS
|4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH
||4. Colby Rasmus (L) LF
|5. Brian McCann (L) C
||5. Evan Gattis (R) DH
|6. Chase Headley (S) 3B
||6. Carlos Gomez (R) CF
|7. Greg Bird (L) 1B
||7. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
|8. Rob Refsnyder (R) 2B
||8. Chris Carter (L) 1B
|9. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
||9. Jason Castro (L) C
Tanaka Notes: Houston teed off on Tanaka in his lone start against the Astros this season. He allowed six runs over five innings in a 9-6 loss in Houston. That marked the most runs Tanaka has given up in a start in his career.
Keuchel Notes: Keuchel beat the Yankees twice this season and didn’t allow a run in either game. The first one was a six-hitter on June 25. He followed that up by allowing three hits over seven scoreless innings in the 15-1 victory on Aug. 25. He struck out 21 batters over those two starts.
Astros Notes: The Astros won two of three in their only series in New York this season, including a 15-1 rout on Aug. 25. Chris Carter, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve all homered off Tanaka earlier this year.
Yankees Notes: The Yankees struggled against Kuechel this year. As a team they hit just .188 against him with one extra base hit over two starts. However, Carlos Beltran is 4-for-9 with a home run off Keuchel and Chris Young 6-for-20 with two doubles and a triple for his career against him.
Joe Girardi set his lineup for the Wild Card game — and Jacoby Ellsbury is on the bench.
“It was something I mulled over for probably two days once I realized who we were going to face in this game today, and we looked at so many different things trying to figure out — because we felt we had to get Chris Young‘s bat in there against the left-hander, against [Dallas] Keuchel,” Girardi said. “And it just came down to [Brett Gardner‘s] body of work against lefties versus Ellsbury.”
Ellsbury, though, took the news in stride.
“But one thing I told Ells is that you’re going to be in this game. He said I’ll be ready, whenever you need me I’ll be ready,” Girardi said. “He took it upon himself to have the right attitude. I can understand if he’s frustrated and upset, but he’ll be ready to go.”