New York Yankees crushing loss on Sunday highlights season

Jul 11, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New York Yankees cannot afford to give away games. In fourth place in the AL East, and seeing their postseason hopes fading by the day, the Yankees have to seal the deal on those winnable games this season.

Sunday was a perfect example. The Yankees held a 7-2 lead entering the ninth inning, only to watch as the Astros put together a six run inning while making just one out for the comeback victory. Jose Altuve, on his replica jersey day, hit a walk-off three run homer for the deciding blow.

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After that game, teams are now 493-2 when entering the ninth inning with a lead of at least four runs. The Yankees happen to have both of those losses, the first coming on June 30 against the Angels. Those are two games that could make a major difference at the end of the season, and could be the reason why the Yankees find themselves at home come October.

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The misery did not stop with that statistic. The Yankees drew 14 walks on Sunday and still lost, the first time that had happened in the majors since 2006. Ironically, the Yankees were also the victims in that game, losing to the Rays on April 26, 2006.

New York was close to ending the first half on a high note. They had shut out the Astros in the first two games of the series, with Gerrit Cole firing a defining 129 pitch shutout on Saturday. With a sweep, the Yankees may have still been in fourth place, but they would have been on the upswing, feeling great about themselves during the break.

Instead, they suffered the type of loss that can take the wind out of any team’s sails. Yes, they managed to take two out of three in the series. But taking that type of loss in the final game, especially with four days off to reflect upon it, can eat away at a team’s confidence.

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The New York Yankees had to finish out their game on Sunday. Their walkoff loss to the Astros could be the death knell to their season.