The Yankees have won a record 27 world championships. They have appeared in a record 40 World Series. They, however, haven't been to baseball's ultimate event since 2009. This is the first decade since 1910-19 that the Yankees have been left on the outside, looking in at the World Series.
In the 1950s, alone, they participated in eight of the 10 World Series, and won eight world championships. The Astros, however, put an end to the Yankees hopes in 2019 on Saturday night when they wrapped up the best-of-seven American League Championship in six games.
And it was a bitter ending for the Yankees. They had tied the scored at 4-4 with two runs in the top of the ninth, and brought in closer Aroldis Chapman with the thought he could pitch two innings. He didn't. Oh, he started his night impressively, striking out Martin Maldonado, and getting Josh Reddick to pop up. But with two outs, George Springer worked a five-pitch walk, and then, on the second pitch Chapman threw to Jose Altuve, the Astros second baseman blasted a walk-off home run to left-center.
It was the eighth post-season walk-off home run in post-season history.
Now Altuve gets a second shot at the World Series. While the Astros did win the World Seires in 2017, Altuve hit only .194 with more strikeouts (seven) than hits (six). Having hit .350 in the AL Division Series and .348 in the AL Championship Series this year, Altuve is certainly showing his offensive ability this October. Can he carry it over to the World Series?
There is, however, a challenge awaiting the Astros, who had a best-in-baseball 107 regular-season victories. Since the expansion of the post-season to third-round with the addition of the Wild Card and the League Division Series in 1995, the team with the best record has won only six of 24 world championships.
Can the Astros become the lucky No. 7?