Astros win classic in Houston
This series had all the makings of a classic heading into it, and through the first two games it still looks like we could be heading that way. After the Yankees took a relatively easy Game One behind a huge Masahiro Tanaka start, the Astros have tied this series with a win in an incredible game. The pitching matchup seemed to favor Houston with Justin Verlander on the mound against James Paxton, the latter of whom is very good but the former being a modern postseason legend. Houston got on the board first with a run in the second, but the Yankees took the lead right back in the top of the fourth when Aaron Judge smashed a two-run shot off Verlander. Perhaps the biggest play of the game was in the sixth, after Houston had tied the game at two apiece. DJ LeMahieu was on second with two outs, and after Brett Gardner’s ripped infield single deflected off Carlos Correa, LeMahieu tried to do too much and broke for the plate. He was thrown out easily, and that was the last best chance the Yankees had all night. Aaron Boone managed things well and their bullpen did outstanding, but Houston’s relief corps was on another level. The game went eleven before Correa absolutely demolished an opposite-field homer on the first pitch he saw to send the Astros home with a walk-off win.
Sox Spin: Red Sox fans will be happy to see this result, as the Yankees taking a 2-0 lead on the road would have all but punched their ticket to the World Series. On top of that, I was getting some Game Three 2018 World Series during that game. It obviously didn’t come close to going that far, but I was really curious to see what Aaron Boone’s plan was if that went another couple frames. I don’t think he really made any mistakes in this game, but he was left with a very limited ‘pen by the end.
David Freese retires
I’m actually a little late on this one but I forgot to mention it over the weekend. After the Dodgers were eliminated from the NLDS, David Freese announced he was set to retire. Freese was not one of the premier players of his generation, but he is one of those guys who will be remembered for a long, long time by multiple fanbases. He is among the most clutch players of the last 25 years and really throughout baseball history. He’ll be most known for that 2012 World Series with the Cardinals, but he was always good in the playoffs. Over 69 career postseason games he hit .299/.370/.549.
Sox Spin: Freese, for as relatively wide-ranging as his career has been in stints with four different teams, doesn’t have a ton of connection with the Red Sox. They did face him twice in the World Series, mostly shutting him down in 2013 while struggling to keep him in check in 2018.