If Game Three of the American League Championship Series was a speed bump for the Astros, Game Four in the Bronx on Tuesday was more like a pothole.
The Astros built a 4-0 lead, and then watched as the Yankees cut the lead to 4-2 in the seventh inning and then strike for four more runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Houston 6-4 and tie the ALCS up at two games apiece.
Lance McCullers Jr. got the start and went six plus innings, but was taken out of the game after Yankees rookie Aaron Judge hit a long solo homer, his second home run in as many games. The bullpen could not hold on to the lead. Chris Devenski, Joe Musgrove, and Ken Giles combined to give up six runs in the loss.
You might think manager AJ Hinch is concerned after losing these two games, but he says the series is far from over.
“I don’t think anybody thought the series was over two games ago. You have to win four to advance and no one has one four yet,” Hinch said.
But he did admit that the eighth inning was a nightmare.
“We just couldn’t get the inning to end,” Hinch stated. “Even their outs were productive outs.”
There is some good news for the Astros. Dallas Keuchel, who shut the Yankees down in Game One at Minute Maid Park, is on the mound today. And that has Jose Altuve feeling confident.
“Tomorrow is another day. I really believe in my guys. I really believe we are going to go out there and win the game,” Altuve said.
Shortstop Carlos Correa echoed those thoughts.
“We are not going to hit the panic button just because we lost two games in a row,” Correa told reporters in the locker room.
The Yankees will counter Keuchel with Masahiro Tanaka. First pitch this afternoon is set for just after 4 o'clock. Pregame coverage on Sports Talk 790 starts at 3.