Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Yankees recognized that they would have to find a way to defeat Dallas Keuchel or Justin Verlander in order to advance, and they attacked that challenge head on. Having toppled one of the Astros’ aces to move within one win of the 41st World Series in franchise history, they will now focus their attention on the other.
The Bombers’ new core of Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius all contributed run-scoring hits to back Masahiro Tanaka’s dominant effort as the Yankees remained unbeaten at home this postseason, defeating the Astros, 5-0, in Wednesday’s Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
“We have a great group of guys. We’re always positive,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “As you know, it’s a long season and there’s up and downs. The important thing is that we always stayed positive, and now we have one more game to get to the World Series. We’ll focus on that.”
That was pretty damned amazing. Keuchel had been next to unhittable against the Yankees (SG showed the stats the other day - just insane) and the Yankees managed to get 4 runs off of him! Meanwhile, Tanaka is making himself so much goddamn money with his postseason performance this year. He’s truly the definition of the “Big Game Pitcher.” Hopefully he somehow doesn’t opt out.
So here we are - the Yankees need to win 1 of the next 2 games to make it to the World Series. Just stunning. The bad news for the Yankees (and the hope for the Astros) is that Justin Verlander is pitching Game 6 and he will be tough to beat, especially at home. You really want to avoid a winner takes all Game 7, so the Yankees need to find a way to figure Verlander out somehow. It does not seem to be particularly likely, but hey, ya never know! Hopefully Luis Severino has a good game on Friday.
Just a remarkable turn of events for the Yankees.
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