As invigorating as the victory was for the Astros, it was gut-wrenching for the Yankees, whose resolve will be tested once again in these playoffs. Just as in the division series, they will return home for Game 3 having lost the first two games on the road.
In the two games here, both 2-1 defeats, they managed just one run in 16 innings against the Astros’ starting pitchers: Dallas Keuchel and Verlander. The two young sluggers that are the drivers of the Yankees offense — Judge and Sanchez — went a combined 1 for 14 with eight strikeouts.
But what these two pitching-rich games have highlighted more than anything else is the Astros’ ability to change games with their defense, while the Yankees have been unable to do so.
On Friday night, in Game 1, Houston left fielder Marwin Gonzalez threw out Greg Bird at home plate. On Saturday, in Game 2, Houston right fielder Josh Reddick made two plays that affected the game in the third inning.
First, Reddick — who has three Spiderman…