ALDS: Yankees Knock-Out The Indians, Advance To ALCS
Yankees shock Indians, Next up the Astros.
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.
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.
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.