Houston defeated the New York Yankees 5-0 to go up in the ALCS three games to none.
Houston got on the board in the second inning. With two outs, Harrison Bader dropped a Christian Vazquez fly ball for an error, and was followed closely by a Chas McCormick home run. The ball just barely cleared the fence for a 2-0 Astros lead.
The home run ball wouldn’t have been out of any other stadium. It traveled 335 feet at a 23° launch angle at just 98.3 MPH off the bat.
Chas McCormick vs Gerrit Cole#LevelUp— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) October 22, 2022
IT'S A UNICORN
Home Run (2)
Exit velo: 103.8 mph
Launch angle: 23 deg
Proj. distance: 335 ft
This would have been a home run at Yankee Stadium and nowhere else.
HOU (2) @ NYY (0)
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Yankees finally got a hit off Christian Javier. It was the first hit he’d ever allowed in Yankee Stadium. The Giancarlo Stanton double would later amount to nothing as he was stranded. It took the bombers 10 1⁄3 innings to “solve” Javier. The next time he pitches there, likely in 2023, his regular season hitless streak will still be intact.
With one out in the fifth, something else that Astros fans have been waiting patiently for came to pass. Jose Altuve collected his first hit in 25 at bats, a one-out double. Altuve made it to third but was stranded.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Astros loaded the bases off Gerret Cole. After he was relieved by Jose Trivino, the Astros made them pay with a Trey Mancini sacrifice fly and a Christian Vázquez two-run single to make it 5-0.
Despite Javier’s impeccable control, the home plate umpire called a lot of obvious balls strikes. This was a recurring theme through his start. Despite the uneven strike zone, he still totaled five strikeouts against three walks, and allowed no runs on one hit. He got 45-of-84 pitches over home plate, and left with a runner on first with one out in the sixth. Enter the bullpen.
Héctor Neris got the final two outs of the sixth, and Ryne Stanek pitched a perfect seventh, striking out the side. Hunter Brown came in for the eighth, then walked the first two batters he faced before settling down and retiring two batters. Rafael Montero collected the final out of the inning. The ninth would see Bryan Abreu surrender a pair of two-out singles before Josh Donaldson struck out on three pitches to end the game.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The average WHIP in Major League Baseball was 1.266. By that measure, every one of Houston’s top 16 pitchers (by innings pitched) were above “average” through the regular season. Phil Maton’s was the highest, at 1.249. Houston’s postseason collective team-WHIP is now 0.905. Seventy-nine strikeouts in the first six games of the postseason is an MLB record.