The Yankees’ Loss to the Astros Was Not What Could Have Been Done Differently

ALCS: Yankees Season Ends as Astros Head to World Series

The Yankees’ playoff hopes ended on Tuesday with a dramatic 17-14 loss in Game Six of the ALCS to the Houston Astros. New York did manage to knock Houston out of the playoffs, but that victory wasn’t what drove the Yankees from the postseason. Instead, the loss ended their postseason dreams by a combined score of 12-2. In a season that began in April with a wild-card berth and ended with a stunning 17-14 loss to the Astros in Game Six of the ALCS, the Yankees won’t be back in the postseason until at least 2021. Here’s what happened on Tuesday night:

The Yankees’ season came to an end at home due to what many consider the Yankees’ worst loss of all time. And yet, it could also have ended as simply a loss on the road. Instead, it ended in a way that many will not accept. Instead, it ended with a win for the Yankees that will probably never, ever be equated to the 2011-12 season, when it seemed like the Yankees had the potential to dethrone the New York Mets as the second-best team in the National League.

But the truth is, the Yankees would have done the exact same thing by going to the Bronx and losing to the Astros.

“I think it was a big setback,” said New York right fielder Aaron Judge, who was the only Yankee to hit safely in Game Six. “You start thinking about what could have been done differently. You get the chance to go back to that day to see if you could have done anything different.”

That’s true, but the story of what happened on Tuesday is not about what could have been done differently. It’s about what happened on Tuesday. It’s about what started with a momentary lapse of focus on an out call during a pivotal inning, and what ended with a huge mistake that turned an 18-0 lead in favor of Houston into a 17-14 loss and sent the Yankees home for the remainder of this season. It’s about what led to a Yankees pitcher throwing a wild pitch, and what led to the Yankees’ most devastating loss in franchise history.

What happened on Tuesday was the first time the Yankees had to win in the bottom of the ninth inning, and it ended badly.

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