Yankees’ offense falters in must-win Game 3 of ALCS

Alexander Wilson
gerrit cole, yankees
Aug 26, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) walks to the dugout after the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees found themselves two games back in the ALCS against the Houston Astros on Saturday night with a must-win Game 3 in the Bronx. However, they were completely dominated by elite Houston pitching, with Cristian Javier giving up just one hit across 5.1 innings, tossing just 84 pitches in the process.

The Astros bullpen gave up two hits across the final four innings, whereas Yankee ace Gerrit Cole gave up five runs and three earned across 5.0 innings in his most important start of the season.

The Yankees’ pitching did enough over the first three games to at least keep the team competitive, but their offense faltered in an unexpected way, tallying just three hits on the night.

The Yankees seemingly need wholesale changes:

Whether it be poor management, a lack of talent, or just a cold streak at the wrong time, the Yankees simply can’t afford to be hitting this poorly against a team as lethal as the Astros.

Notably, superstar slugger Aaron Judge is hitting a measly .083 this postseason, striking out twice against the Astros on Saturday. He has a less than 10% on-base rate after getting on base at over 42% during the regular season.

The only player who has really stepped up to the plate is Harrison Bader, hitting .300 with a 41.7% on-base rate in the playoffs. However, a costly error early in the game allowed Astros centerfielder Chas McCormick to hit a two-run homer, giving his team an early lead.

Unfortunately, the Yankees have now buried themselves, falling three games behind the Astros. It would take an unexpected turnaround to even show a bit of competitiveness, but with Nestor Cortés on the mound for Sunday’s game, the Yankees will be looking to extend the series for just one more day at the very least. The reality is simple, though, if their offense continues to struggle at unseen levels, they’ll be watching the World Series from their couches soon enough.