Tonight was a do-or-die game for the Yankees, and they did the dang thing! Now the ALCS moves back to Houston where we’ll see a battle of the bullpens in Game Six. We’ll have a full recap up in a bit, but enjoy the highlights in the meantime:
Winner(s) of the Game
James Paxton had yet to dazzle in the postseason, and it looked like he might have another bad outing early. George Springer hit a ball up the middle to get things going in the first inning then advanced to second on a passed ball. The Astros ended up scoring one run to take the lead. Big Maple settled down after that, however. In fact, he pitched six strong innings, giving up just four hits, walking four batters, and notching NINE strikeouts against a terrific Houston offense. It was just what the Yankees needed, especially with a bullpen game coming tomorrow.
All the Bombers needed was one big inning off Justin Verlander, and they made it happen. His weakness this season has been home runs, and they buried him tonight. DJ LeMahieu got the party started with a solo shot in the first inning, then Aaron Judge singled, Gleyber Torres doubled, and Aaron Hicks hit a three-run bomb off the foul pole to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead that they never relinquished.
Honorable mention: Zack Britton
Loser of the Game
Justin Verlander, for once.
We’ll see you back here tomorrow!!