3 Yankees most to blame for insurmountable 0-3 ALCS hole

3 Yankees most to blame for insurmountable 0-3 ALCS hole

TORONTO, ON – JUNE 19: Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees slams his bat after getting hit by a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 19, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees fell to the Houston Astros on Saturday night, and now face an 0-3 deficit. Fans are already thinking about next year, and rightly so.

A return home was supposed to inspire an ALCS comeback, but it instead brought more tribulations for the Yankees against the Houston Astros — a foe they just can’t seem to leapfrog.

Jose Altuve has barely been a factor. Carlos Correa is in the broadcast booth, rather than featured as a terror in the nightmares of Yanks supporters. These are not the same Astros as 2017 and 2019. Why, then, can’t New York climb to the summit, defeating their rival to win the pennant?

Well, there are several easy villains to point to.

Yankees to blame: Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter

Aaron Boone defended Josh Donaldson prior to Game 3, but the numbers don’t back him up. While the veteran slugger began the postseason with two hits, he’s gone 3-for-22 since then (as of this writing). While his OBP remains a positive asset in the Yanks’ lineup, he’s not making solid contact.

“It’s interesting that everyone jumps on him. I mean, he’s got on at a 40 percent clip in the postseason so far for all his struggles — his, quote, ‘struggles,’” Boone said. “We need him. We need him to do something big within this series.”

To need Donaldson is one thing. To continue to go back to him despite the obvious is on Boone, which we’ll get to.

As for Matt Carpenter, it’s tough to fully blame him for his struggles, either. Carpenter is fresh off injury, and while he’s a great story, he simply hasn’t played well enough to garner a starting spot on an ALCS team. Yet, here we are.

At one point in Game 3, Carpenter was 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts since coming back. That’s abysmal, and speaks to Boone’s confidence in the player.