The Astros celebrate their ALCS sweep over the Yankees. Oct 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; Houston Astros celebrate defeating the New York Yankees during game four of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Yankees had any chance at overcoming the 3-0 deficit they faced in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, they needed their bats to get going. While New York’s hitters supplied more thump in Game 4 than they had through the first three games, it wasn’t enough. The Astros defeated the Yankees 6-5 to complete the 4-0 sweep.

Things started well for New York. The Yankees led 3-0 after two innings. But eventual series MVP Jeremy Peña came up in the third inning with two runners on and drew the Astros even, belting a three-run homer.

The Yankees retook the lead in the sixth inning on a home run from Harrison Bader.

Unfortunately for New York and its fans, that was the high-water mark. Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were not on the same page in the top of the seventh on a potential inning-ending double play. Houston took full advantage of the miscue, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.

The Astros carried that 6-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Pressly retired the first two hitters, which brought Aaron Judge to the plate. Judge could not replicate the magic that we saw so much of during the regular season and grounded out to Pressly. With that, the game, series, and possibly Judge’s career with the Yankees, came to an end.

Of course, there are two sides to every outcome. One is to look at the losing team and wonder what it did wrong. And to that end, the Yankees were heavily criticized for their poor series.

On the other hand, for every loser, there is a winner. And the Astros received their share of praise for their ALCS performance.

Indeed, given their immense history, very few teams have a good history against the Yankees in the playoffs. The Astros, though, are an exception.

Since joining the American League in 2013, Houston has met New York four times in the postseason. The Astros have won all four meetings. They first took the American League Wild Card Game in 2015, winning 3-0. After that, Houston defeated the Yankees in three ALCS’ winning 4-3 in 2017, 4-2 in 2019 and now 4-0 in 2022.

Awaiting the Astros in the World Series will be the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies clinched the NLCS earlier on Sunday with a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres.

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