Crime, retribution, justice.

That’s one: Carlos Correa’s walk-off homer gives the Astros their first win of the series.

So many games come down to one or two pitches. Last night’s came down to three. The last three.

The last three pitches covered the gamut of crime, retribution, and justice.

The Crime: With the top of the eleventh, in a game tied 2-2, in a game the Astros absolutely (even desperately) had to win, Houston retired the first two Yankee hitters. Then, they committed the unpardonable sin of walking a hitter. With this Yankees home run crazy lineup, that almost always leads to two runs. In fact, that’s how the Yankees got their first two. But the next batter merely singled. Which brought up Gary Sanchez, a three-run homer waiting to happen. Every Yankee fan and every Yankee hater was one hundred percent sure he was going to hit one out. That’s how the Yankees do it. Astros pitcher Josh James worked the count to 1-2. After a few obligatory, delay-the-inevitable fouls, James buries a slider into the dirt that Gary Sanchez swings at.

Strike three.

Except it wasn’t. For some inexplicable reason, home plate umpire Cory Blaser called it a foul. Replay showed Sanchez’s bat missed the ball by six inches. The umpire missed it by even more. So did the other umpires on the field who, when asked, concurred. The Astros were pick pocketed in plain daylight. 

It appeared the Yankee luck had struck again. Gary Sanchez had new life. The Yankees were, as they always do, going to take advantage of that.

The Retribution: With the collective breath of all Houston fans held, James unleashes the next pitch. It’s a 99 mile-per-hour fastball that just a bit outside. Sanchez lets it pass. 

Ball two. 

Except it wasn’t. The home plate umpire called it strike three. Third out. Inning over. Threat over. Gary Sanchez protested. The Yankees bench was incensed. By all accounts in the Yankeed dugout, that was the worst call anyone had ever seen, that is, since the one just seconds before that they so conveniently forgot about. But they are the Yankees. NOBODY DOES THAT TO THE YANKEES!

It’s like O.J. Simpson getting away with murdering two people, then protesting that he got a speeding ticket fleeing the scene of the crime. 

The Justice: The next pitch of the game came out of the hands of a Yankee. J.A. Happ, the ninth Yankee pitcher. That pitch was quickly deposited over the right field fence by Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. 

Astros win 3-2, tying the series at one game apiece, heading to Yankee Stadium.

All because of the last pitches. 


Jack Flaherty vs. Stephen Strasburg
Game time: 6:38 on TBS