March 21, 2018 by
NEW YORK - If the Astros fail to win the two consecutive games they require to advance to the World Series, their American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees will be remembered for the disappearing act of their major league-best offense.Their offensive struggles in the ALCS reached a nadir in a 5-0 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium. Shut out for the first time in the playoffs since the final game of the 2005 World Series Andy Pettitte Jersey, they managed only four hits a day after mustering just three. A third consecutive defeat in the Bronx left them headed home on the brink of elimination. The Yankees lead the series, three games to two. Game 6 is Friday at Minute Maid Park. The Astros will start their best pitcher in Justin Verlander. His performance will go only so far if their bats can't hit the Yankees' best, Luis Severino. Now Playing Eugenia Rios is a die hard Astros fan battling brain cancer. She hopes to see the Astros win a championship. Media Steve Gonzales, Houston Chronicle On Wednesday night, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka shut down the Astros for the first seven innings before handing the baton to reliever Tommy Kahnle. The Astros were 0-for-8 when batting with runners in scoring position. The regression from the regular season has been staggering. An offense that produced 5.5 runs per game has scored only nine times in five ALCS games. The Astros batted .282 with a .346 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage in the regular season. They are slashing a putrid .147 .234 .213 in this series.Carlos Correa's solo home run in Game 2 at Minute Maid Park is the Astros' only longball of this series. They hit 1.47 homers per game in the regular season. A sampling of the individual numbers looks just as ugly.George Springer is 2-for-18.Josh Reddick is 0-for-17.Alex Bregman is 2-for-17.Marwin Gonzalez is 2-for-15.Carlos Beltran is 1-for-12.Brian McCann is 0-for-10 Marwin Gonzalez Men's Jersey.The anemic Astros offense left ace lefthander Dallas Keuchel little margin for error Wednesday. And for the first time in nine career starts against these Yankees, he was knocked around.Keuchel, who had allowed seven earned runs in his 57 2 3 previous innings against the Yankees, allowed four in only 4 2 3 frames Wednesday. The Yankees tagged him with seven hits https://www.astrosfansgear.com/Dallas_Keuchel_Auth... , including two doubles. Three singles in a five-batter span in the fifth chased Keuchel from the game.The outing inflated Keuchel's career ERA against the Yankees from an incredible 1.09 to 1.59. He had allowed more than two earned runs in a start against them only once before, on Aug. 21, 2014, when he gave up just three in eight innings.The second inning contrasted the states of these two offenses. In the top of the frame, the Astros squandered a leadoff double by Yuli Gurriel. In the bottom, the Yankees capitalized on a two-out double by Starlin Castro when Greg Bird ripped a single to the right-field corner.Gonzalez provided another prime scoring opportunity for the Astros in the fifth. After ripping a single to right field off Tanaka, he advanced to second on a wild pitch. McCann worked a walk to bring up the top of the order, which during most of the regular season would've meant doom for the pitcher.But Springer and Reddick both struck out against Tanaka. Springer was caught looking at a fastball at the knees on the outside corner. Reddick chased a splitter outside.Tanaka struck out eight and issued only one walk. Keuchel struck out eight in his 4 2 3 and walked only one but his outing was doomed by the Yankees' two-run fifth.Chase Headley began the Yanks' biggest rally with a one-out single on which he reached second after Bregman's throw skipped past Gurriel. A groundout by Brett Gardner brought Keuchel one out away from escaping unscathed.With Judge due up next, Astros manager A.J. Hinch jogged out to the mound and the infield convened around Keuchel on the mound. The meeting was brief. Keuchel pitched to Judge but carefully. A walk set the stage for Gary Sanchez https://www.astrosfansgear.com/James_Hoyt_Authenti... , one of the Yankees' Game 4 heroes.Sanchez ripped a single down the left-field line that scored Headley. Didi Gregorius then ran the count full before singling up the middle just past a diving second baseman Jose Altuve. The three consecutive New York baserunners prompted the end of Keuchel's outing. As he walked toward the dugout, the Yankees fans sitting behind the Astros' dugout waved him goodbye.Will Harris relieved Keuchel and induced an inning-ending fly out from Aaron Hicks. When Harris encountered trouble in the sixth, Brad Peacock bailed him out. Peacock, who hadn't pitched since his Game 3 start in the ALDS at Boston, logged 1 1 3 innings and gave up a solo blast to Sanchez.
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