The Yankees did it! They stole a game at Minute Maid Park. The Bombers got out ahead of Zack Greinke and then tacked on against Houston’s bullpen. Their own pitchers fired off shutout ball, too. It was just about a best-case scenario for the Yankees, as they took the first game of the ALCS by a score of 7-0.
We’ll have a full recap a little later on. In the meantime, here are some highlights:
Winners of the Game
1. Masahiro Tanaka turned in another stellar postseason performance. The right-hander faced the minimum through six innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four. He kept the Astros in check by living down in the zone with a steady diet of offspeed pitches. It was an efficient outing, too, at just 68 pitches. Tanaka now has a postseason ERA of 1.32. When the lights shine brightest, Tanaka makes things look easy.
2. Gleyber Torres just terrorized the Astros’ pitching staff. The 22-year-old went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBI. Torres put the Yankees on the board and busted the game open. At one point, the Fox broadcast went to commercial break by showing Torres’ highlights set to The Cars - Just What I Needed. That song fits perfectly on so many levels. I guess Torres was all the Yankees needed to finally win a playoff game at Minute Maid Park.
3. Giancarlo Stanton extended the Yankees’ lead with a sixth-inning home run. The solo shot went for an exit velocity of 110.7 mph. Homering off the Astros in the ALCS is exactly what the Bombers had in mind when they traded for Stanton in 2017. Go ahead, boo that man now. I dare you.
4. Aaron Judge had a solid night at the plate on Saturday, but holy crap, did he save the game with his glove. In fact, he had one of the bigger plays of his career in the fifth inning. With Alex Bregman on first, Yordan Alvarez launched a line drive into right field. Not only did Judge make the out, he fired behind Bregman, beating him back to first base and completing the double play. It was a ridiculous play that deserves the video treatment:
WHAT. A. PLAY. (#ALCS on @FOXtv) pic.twitter.com/1YRQhA0k98— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 13, 2019
Brilliant. Now excuse me while I watch that play on loop for the next 45 minutes.
5. Gio Urshela kept the offense going the ninth with a home run to right field. It still seems like a fever dream that Urshela had a 21-homer regular season. Notching a tack-on run in an ALCS victory just adds to the surreal fun.