Now that was a baseball game!! Game 4 of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros has been the best game of the postseason — so far.
Like I said yesterday, hits are contagious. Until the bottom of the 7th inning, a lonely single by Todd Frazier was the Yankees’ only hit. And then, THIS happened. Aaron Judge launched a majestic, 427-foot home run to straight away center field. Not only was this home run a thing of beauty, it was crucial. It got the Yankees on the board, bringing the score to 4-1. It got the crowd going. And most importantly, it forced A.J. Hinch to pull Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers, who 24 hours earlier didn’t know he would start Game 4, was spectacular. The Yankee fan in me wants to thank Astros Manager, A.J. Hinch, for his quick trigger. Letting the horrid Astros’ bullpen loose was the beginning of their end….
Chris Devenski was the 1st victim. He surrendered a triple, a sacrifice fly, and a walk. Devenski was promptly pulled for Joe Musgrove, who got out of the 7th inning unscathed. Little did he know, the 7th inning was just the appetizer. The main course was set for the bottom of the 8th inning. A combination of Musgrove, Ken Giles (the Astros’ closer), and Luke Gregerson allowed the Yankees to bat around, bringing 10 batters to the plate. What started with an innocent single by Todd Frazier, ended with a 2-rbi double by Gary Sanchez. And just like that, the 2-run Yankees’ deficit turned into a 2-run surplus.
If only someone had predicted a final score of 6-4….
That’s what they call shameless self-promotion.
While it’s refreshing to see the bats come to life, it shouldn’t overshadow Sonny Gray’s pitching performance. Gray, the forgotten man, hadn’t pitched in 12 days. That is NOT easy. Like Hinch, Joe Girardi had a quick trigger with his starter, pulling Gray after just 85 pitches.
Sonny Gray’s Day: 5 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts
You couldn’t ask for a better performance, in those circumstances, from a guy who hadn’t pitched in nearly 2 weeks. Part of Gray’s success can be tied to Austin Romine getting his 1st start of the postseason at catcher. Gray’s numbers are significantly better with Romine than Gary Sanchez. However, the Romine experiment needn’t last more than 1 day. He’s useless with the bat, and looked rusty with the glove. An ill-timed catcher’s interference didn’t help his cause either. Toss Sanchez back behind the plate, and slot Chase Headley in as the DH. Headley’s bat is finally heatin’ up. Headley, who is historically streaky, looks to be trending in the right direction.
Ride the wave Girardi!! Don’t fight your instincts. I know the robot in you hasn’t taken COMPLETE control of your body — yet.
Game 5 is coming at you today with another awkward 5:08 P.M. EST start. Tune in to FS1 for all the action, as Dallas Keuchel and Masahiro Tanaka will climb the hill. Saying Keuchel owns the Yankees is an understatement. He hasn’t allowed a home run against the Yankees in 217 innings. That trend, gets bucked, today.
Score Prediction: Yankees 3, Astros 2
Who do you think will win Game 5?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.
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