The Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees by a 6-4 score in Saturday’s Game 6 on Jose Altuve’s walk-off homer in the ninth inning. Altuve’s homer, which came off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman with two outs, gives the Astros their second AL pennant in three seasons and sends them to the 2019 World Series. The Astros were two outs away from winning Game 6 before Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu tied the game with a two-run homer of his own in the top half of the inning.
Here’s a recap of Game 6.
Why the Astros won
The Astros took full advantage of their opportunities throughout the game, notching six hits and six walks but plating half those baserunners. That efficiency came in handy in the ninth, when George Springer walked with two outs and Altuve followed with a walk-off home run on a hanging breaking ball. It’s worth noting the Astros put themselves in position to win the game throughout, and not just in the bottom of the ninth. Their cavalcade of relievers mostly pitched well, and Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick made important diving grabs.
Why the Yankees lost
Let’s start with the ninth inning. Chapman threw consecutive poor breaking balls to Altuve following a two-out walk, with the second resulting in the walk-off home run. That home run ended a short-lived tie casued by LeMahieu’s two-run shot in the top half of the frame following a lengthy at-bat. Before that, the story of the game for the Yankees had been missed opportunities — some due to good play on Houston’s part, others unforced mistakes, like making outs on the first pitches they saw from new relievers with runners on base twice during the night. That’s not a winning recipe.
Turning point and Highlight of the Game
Look, you hit a home run to send your team to the World Series and you deserve both of these categories. Altuve now has five homers in the postseason, and has the highest Win Probability Added of any Astros batter. He was the ALCS MVP for a reason. Take a look at his walk-off home run:
The Astros will advance to the World Series, where they’ll host the Nationals beginning on Tuesday. The Yankees … well, they’ll advance to the offseason, where they’ll attempt to construct a roster that can reach the Fall Classic next autumn.