Legends On Deck

ALDS: Yankees Knock-Out The Indians, Advance To ALCS

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Did anyone other than die-hard New York Yankees fans see this one coming?  Did anyone actually think that the one team, the Cleveland Indians, who ended the season winning 26 of their last 30 games, and took the first two games from the Yankees in the ALDS in dominating fashion, would blow three straight games to the Yankees and be eliminated from the postseason? Well that is what makes October baseball so great, because anything is possible.

Now the Indians go home and the Yankees live on to play in the American League Championship series against another tough opponent in the Houston Astros.

IN a season where the Yankees had nothing to lose by entering the postseason, but so much to gain, entered Game five probably as relaxed as any team can be knowing they would only need one win to advance.

In the top of the first, they started quickly when Didi Gregorius hit his first home run of the postseason, sending a 94.1 MPH fastball from Indians starter Jake Kluber and parking it over the right field fence for an early 1-0 lead.

In the third, Gregorius struck again, hitting his second homer of the game, this time a two-run shot over the right field fence extending the Yankees lead to 3-0.Yankees Gear

On teh mound, CC Sabathia was tossing zeros, as he was perfect through the first nine batters, striking out six of the nine batters he faced, before giving up a lead-off single to Francisco Lindor. But he recovered and retired the next three batters, two on strikeouts.

In the fifth, the Indians finally broke through and scored two runs on RBI singles from Roberto Perez and Giovanny Urshela to pull within 3-2.

At that point the crowd got back int the game and the feel of the game was that it may shift in the favor of the Tribe.

But the Yankees bullpen took over, with David Robertson shutting down the Indians for 2.2 innings, not allowing a hit or a walks and two strikeouts.

Aroldis Chapman came on in the eighth inning and retired the side recording two strikeouts.

In the top of the ninth, the Yankees added two insurance runs to seal the deal. With runners on first and second, Gardner hit a single to right field scoring Aaron Hicks from second, and when the ball got away in the infield, Todd Frazier, who was on his way to third, scampered home with the fifth run of the game.

In the bottom of the frame, Jose Ramirez worked out a lead-off walk, but then Chapman struck out Edwin Encarnacion for the first out. Next batter Carlos Santana grounded into a force out, with Ramirez out at second. Then in Chapman fashion, he struck out Austin Jackson on four pitches, sending the Yankees and they fans into the ALCS.

A dream season continues for a Yankees team that was not supposed to be ready to contend for at least another season. But in baseball anything is possible.  Where the dream ends, at this point no one knows, but another World Series title is not out of the question, as New York moves on.

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David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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