For a brief, tantalizing moment late in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, it looked like the New York Yankees would save their season by snatching victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat.
Then Jose Altuve happened.
The score was knotted at 4-4 when the Houston Astros’ star second baseman strode to the plate at Minute Maid Park with two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth inning. With Aroldis Chapman on the mound, Altuve had every reason to sit dead-red on triple-digit heat.
The fireballing closer fell behind in the count 2-0 before throwing two consecutive sliders. The second was a hanger that the 2017 AL MVP didn’t miss. Home run!
With their 6-4 win, the Astros earned the right to face the Washington Nationals in the World Series. It will be their second appearance in the Fall Classic in the last three years, all three of which have also seen them finish with more than 100 regular-season wins.
For their part, the Yankees failed to avenge their seven-game loss to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS. What’s more, they also cemented the 2010s as the first decade since the 1910s in which they didn’t make a World Series appearance.