Yankees Beat Indians, Advance To ALCS: Twitter Reacts

Ruben Hill
October 13, 2017

In facing the Yankees, the Astros will be nearly be facing themselves.

Astros fans waiting on last-minute deals to secure tickets for the American League Championship Series may have waited a day too long.

New York's youth movement didn't truly begin until previous year, but it's far ahead of schedule in terms of making the Yankees a victor.

A lot has changed in two years, and both teams have a real chance to win this year's Fall Classic. Cleveland won 102 games to the Astros' 101, had a 22-game winning streak and went 45-12 from August 2 to the end of the regular season.

The New York Yankees shocked the world in the American League Division Series, coming back to win three straight games to knock out the AL favorite Cleveland Indians.

Friday marks game one of the ALCS.

As a reward, NY now gets to face one of the best teams in baseball during the regular season, a team it only won two games of seven games against: The Houston Astros. Cleveland last lost a third straight game on August 1. NY might win a couple games in the ALCS when hitters like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are able to carry them, but ultimately it's hard to envision Houston not winning the series. Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson are good pitchers, as are Joe Musgrove and Lance McCullers, Jr., but they're not quite up to the level of performance that NY can expect every night.

Throw in Severino and Tanaka, both of whom are coming off of at least seven innings of masterful pitching in their last outings, and NY is sitting pretty with Sabathia available to throw big innings later in the series. Counting the AL Wild Card game, the Yankees have survived elimination in four games.

-CC Sabathia held Cleveland down for four innings to allow the Yanks to grab a lead against surprisingly ineffective Indians ace Kluber. Keucheul is 6-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 71 2/3 home innings this season.

-Brett Gardner was 3-for-5 and had 12-pitch at-bats against Cleveland's top relievers, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

"It was a remarkable game, Didi with those two home runs", one fan said.

Other key Yankees contributors were in different uniforms a year ago.

Aroldis Chapman, closer for the Chicago Cubs when they won the 2016 World Series, signed for a second stint with NY in the offseason. While Judge has been ineffective so far in the postseason, the Yankees outfielder has a regular season batting average of.284 with 114 RBI and 52 home runs. Nothing embodied the way these Yankees never yield like that.

As if that were not enough, NY has some intangibles in play as it goes into the series with Houston. It has looked into the abyss.

New York's bullpen is a game-changer.

What's turned these teams into real championship contenders are the moves they made before and right after the trade deadline.

Who has the edge between these two ball clubs?

"We were down two games to none", Frazier said. Of course, by having that extra time off, there's the always present (but of debatable veracity) concern that Houston will come into this series "cold", while the Yankees will just be playing another important game. The Astros have repeatedly said over the last six weeks how badly they want to win the World Series to bring some joy to a city devastated by flooding and high winds. The Astros have homefield advantage against the Yankees. When starting, Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander have been more than adequate at suppressing big innings, and while throwing Brad Peacock third and Charlie Morton fourth, as they did against Boston, is a concern, there's the possibility that they could pull one of their younger pitchers out of the bullpen - or, to use an inaccurate term that's nevertheless gained steam this postseason - they could "bullpen" it. Judge has been part of a close MVP race with Jose Altuve. While the Astros do have some decent arms, they haven't had almost the reliability of the Yankees' pen. The Astros took five of those matchups, including a comeback victory at home on July 1. Little of that probably matters. Robertson may not pitch in the first game and Chapman just an inning if needed.

The Astros had the AL's best offense in the regular season. Houston pitchers this season have actually quelled Judge.

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