The Yankees entered the Wild Card Game knowing they had to face a pitcher who had shut them down twice this season. They knew getting to Dallas Keuchel wasn't going to be an easy task. And it proved as difficult as it seemed. Keuchel again shut the Yankees down, as the offense again struggled. Throw in a sub-par, for him, outing by Masahiro Tanaka, and it added up to a 3-0 loss to the Astros in the Wild Card Game, ending the Yankees' season.
In the top of the second, the Astros struck first. Colby Rasmus took the first pitch of the inning well over the right field wall. That gave the Astros an early 1-0 lead. After that, Tanaka went on to load the bases with two outs. The potential was there for the Astros to break this open, but Tanaka managed to get Jose Altuve to ground out to end the inning, keeping the deficit at one.
Two innings later, the Astros again struck on the first pitch of an inning. Carlos Gomez homered on the first pitch Tanaka threw in the fourth, doubling Houston's lead.
Tanaka got out of the fourth and pitched an easy inning in the fifth. That would be it for him however, as Justin Wilson came out to pitch the sixth. Tanaka went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three. He got a bit lucky in allowing only two runs. It could've been worse, but he got a couple timely outs to limit the damage. Wilson walked the first batter he faced, but otherwise threw a scoreless sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees got their first real opportunity to score. Didi Gregorius led off the inning with a single. After Brett Gardner struck out, Chris Young grounded into a force out at second, but beat out the throw to first. Carlos Beltran followed that with a single, putting the tying run on. Unfortunately, Alex Rodriguez flew out to end the inning.
Wilson came back out to start the seventh to face the lefty Luis Valbuena. After Wilson got him to ground out, Dellin Betances was brought in. Betances walked Chris Carter to start things off. Jonathan Villar was sent in as a pinch-runner for Carter. Betances then struck out Jason Castro, but Villar stole second in the process. Altuve then blooped a single into left field, scoring Villar. Betances got George Springer to ground out to end the inning, but the score was now 3-0.
After the Yankees again couldn't cash in in the seventh, Betances struck out the side in the eighth. The Yankees' offense couldn't get anything going in their half of the eighth. After that, Andrew Miller pitched the ninth. Miller pitched a easy 1-2-3 inning and we headed to the bottom of the ninth.
The Yankees had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth. The heart of the order was due up, so if any rally was happening, they had the people to start it coming to the plate. But there would be no rally happening. Luke Gregerson retired the side and sent the Astros to the ALDS with a 3-0 win.
And with that, the 2015 Yankees season comes to a close. There were some really fun highs. There were some sad lows. They returned to the playoffs when many thought they wouldn't, but they didn't quite go as far as many of us would like. Oh well. See you next year, Yankee baseball.