Tag: 2019 ALDS Page 1 of 3

The Yankees’ Game 3 defensive perfect game wasn’t a one-time thing

Imagine giving the Gold Glove to anyone else.

The Yankees are built on their bullpen, they said. It’s the offense that will carry them in October, they said.

Both of those are true. The defense, however, is what shined through as the Yankees clinched an ALDS sweep Monday. The Bombers came through with a highlight reel full of fielding gems to ward off the Twins and hold them to just one run while facing elimination.

As the illustrious Mike Axisa noted in his Patreon post Tuesday morning, the Yankees were middle of the pack defensively this year. That’s an improvement over past years, when they’ve either been plagued by players past their prime or inexperienced/downright bad fielders.

This season, they have put together a piecemeal defense that could be at its best in October. The surehanded Gio Urshela takes over for Miguel Andujar, DJ LeMahieu’s Gold Glove handles first base. Even with LeMahieu’s inexperience at first, his defensive acumen and general athleticism gives him a leg up on Luke Voit and Greg Bird.

That was made clear in Game 3 on Monday. LeMahieu snagged a line drive off Marwin Gonzalez’s bat that was ticketed for the right field corner to end the fourth inning. An inning later, in perhaps the most important spot of the game, Gleyber Torres made a lunging stop in right-center on Eddie Rosario, then LeMahieu made a pick to complete the out.

It was a play that made LeMahieu look like a Gold Glove first baseman rather than the novice level he flashed a few weeks prior, while Torres helped save a run himself.

Torres has had shaky games this season where he’s gotten too cute trying to pick grounders, but he upped his game this round. Aided by extreme shifts, he helped the Bombers from right-center to the bag at second.

As always, his double play partner outshone him a tad in the field. Didi Gregorius is past his defensive prime, but he’s still fantastic. On Monday, his diving catch in the ninth inning prevented the Twins from bringing Nelson Cruz to the plate as the tying run.

In the outfield, it’s shocking to see the Yankees have consistent success without Aaron Hicks. Hicks was the lynchpin of the defense, allowing Brett Gardner to man left field and giving Aaron Judge less room over which to worry. His arm also added a useful weapon to the Bombers’ defensive backfield.

Gardner and Judge have picked up the slack. Bobby already detailed how Judge has turned his defense around this season, but Gardner has returned to his former stomping grounds of center and handled it with aplomb. He remains an ageless wonder who still handles the middle of the outfield at a slightly-above-average level.

The stalwart Gardner didn’t face the difficult plays Judge did in the ALDS. Judge made a pair of diving grabs to rob the Twins of runs in Game 1, but he saved some of his best for Game 3.

He perfectly fielded a Jake Cave liner to turn a double into a single, and then had the catch of the night with an outstretched glove on a Miguel Sano liner in the sixth inning.

The Judge catch! (MLB.tv)

Giancarlo Stanton could be viewed as the weak link in left field as he’s more experienced in right and is coming off a significant knee sprain. The combination of proper positioning, Gardner’s range and Cameron Maybin as a defensive replacement has limited any potential issues thus far.

One would be remiss without mentioning the improvement behind the plate from Gary Sanchez, which rounds out the starting nine. Beyond his blocking, he’s improved as a framer as the season has gone on and isn’t the negative behind the plate that he was at times in previous months or years.

The team as a whole turned in just about a perfect defensive game Monday. Zack Britton aided by covering first, though he nearly had a serious injury in the process. Masahiro Tanaka helped on a 3-6-1 double play in Game 2. The Yankees have become a fundamentally sound team across the board and, in an unexpected twist, held the powerful Twins at bay with their superior defense.

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The Yankees’ bullpen passed the ALDS test with flying colors. Now what?

The Yankees are onto the League Championship Series in large part thanks to their bullpen.

The bullpen tossed 13 1/3 of the 27 innings the Yankees needed to advance and allowed just three runs, one of which came in the final inning of a blowout in Game 2.

It was a tour de force for Aaron Boone, who had come under fire for his bullpen management in the 2018 ALDS. The second-year manager displayed significant growth and trusted his bullpen when needed.

That meant giving his top five relievers — the vaunted quintet of Chad Green, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman — all but three of the relief innings. If you were going to draw up a three-game series for this roster, you’d have wanted 24 of 27 innings going to those five plus the three starting pitchers.

Here’s how those top five relievers did in their outings

  • Green: 2 G, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 37 pitches
  • Ottavino: 3 G, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches
  • Kahnle: 3 G, 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 35 pitches
  • Britton: 2 G, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 30 pitches
  • Chapman: 2 G, 2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 46 pitches

Since it was a three-game series, no one was overworked. Boone made sure to save some bullets for each guy in Game 1 so they’d be available in Game 2, but Didi Gregorius and co. allowed him to go to mop up relievers at the end.

Funny enough, or actually quite intentionally enough, Chapman tossed just 24 fewer pitches in his two October outings than he did all of September. His five-out save Monday was his longest outing of the year and his first time getting more than four outs for the Bombers since the 2017 ALDS clincher.

Meanwhile, despite a home run, Britton proved himself trustworthy just as he had down the stretch. Relying even more upon his new car-esque slider, Britton drove through the top of Minnesota’s order twice in big spots. With his final two months of the season, he’s turned into the Yankees’ best reliever at just the right time.

His ankle injury scare nearly threw a wrench into that Monday. Luckily, it seems more of a precaution that he was pulled from the game than something more serious which can affect him in future rounds. The Yankees’ success correlates highly to how their top relievers are pitching, and Britton may be the tippy-top of that subset of the bullpen.

Ottavino’s usage was curious as he came into both Games 1 and 3 to face Nelson Cruz and no one else. Though he walked him both times, it was the right matchup, a tough right-hander to neutralize Cruz’s game-changing power. Rocco Baldelli deftly arranged his lineup so his top right-handed power hitter was flanked by two nearly-as-potent lefty hitters, and that forced Boone’s hand.

How Kahnle and Ottavino intersect has been a fun game throughout the season. Boone has been able to throw Kahnle against southpaw-laden portions of opposing lineups while giving Britton the hulking right-handers in the middle of orders. The Twins didn’t have a neat break to give and it led to abbreviated outings for both.

That’ll change next round. If the Rays somehow make it through to the Championship Series, Boone won’t have as fearful a lineup to manage against and should be able to extend those pitchers further. Against the Astros, the likelier of the two opponents, Ottavino will move into focus with the Astros’ cadre of righties.

How will Kahnle adapt? Despite some late-season struggles, he can still get righties out, but he could take a turn in Ottavino’s role and become the Yordan Alvarez Antidote. That’s a worthy role considering the damage the rookie can do at the plate.

Boone, though, won’t be able to go to three relievers for one inning, as he did in Game 3, all that often in the ALCS. There’s less room to get cute, and more need for length out of both the rotation or bullpen with more innings to cover.

Of course, Green’s role looms large in that respect. He handled himself well enough against a good fastball hitting team and the Astros would be yet another one (and the Dodgers yet another).

Houston’s advantage comes in its top two starting pitchers, who can give the Astros both quality innings and length. The Yankees counter that with shorter, quality outings from their starters and fully leveraging their bullpen. Green needs to be maximized there.

These matchups may not be ideal for the fastball-toting Green, but that’s the postseason for you. There aren’t ideal matchups anymore, just less awful ones, ones with which you can live.

And that will also turn the focus on J.A. Happ, the presumed Game 4 starter for future rounds. Though he’d be limited to 1-2 times through an order, those outings will be rough for Happ, who Houston beat up on Old Timers’ Day. He could also be another counter to Alvarez (or Michael Brantley) in earlier or later games. Happ’s role will depend on Green, who could open a Game 4.

The other player that looms here is CC Sabathia. He’s throwing again soon, according to his locker room scrum interview last night, and could make the ALCS roster. He can give the team both a lefty specialist, or can turn over the lineup in lower leverage. His health,however, remains a mystery for now.

With a seven-game series, the Yankees could use another arm or two in the bullpen. Dellin Betances is unavailable after his freak injury in September and Domingo German ruled himself out with his alleged heinous actions. Thus, a heavier burden falls upon the quintessential quintet for the Bombers.

If the team wants to add Sabathia, or another arm, it doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of Tyler Lyons or Luis Cessa. Instead, the team may opt to remove Luke Voit from the roster and go with 13 pitchers. That’s a more reasonable decision without a left-handed closer looming (Boone said Voit was on the ALDS roster in part to potentially face Taylor Rogers), nor a key lefty starter. The extra arm rather than a bat may be a better fit.

Regardless, the Yankees have the ultimate test coming, whether the Rays or Astros, as a seven-game series stretches your pitching staff thin. We saw this in 2017 as New York faltered late in the ALCS after the toll of the Wild Card Game and close ALDS led to their collective knees buckling. This time, the Yankees will come into the ALCS as the fresher team with a bullpen at the ready.

ALDS Game 3 Starter Preview: Jake Odorizzi

Odorizzi (MLB Gifs)

With the Twins on the brink of elimination, they turn to their No. 2 starter, the 29-year-old, free-agent-to-be Jake Odorizzi.

Basic Stats

159 innings over 30 starts, 3.51 ERA (3.36 FIP, 4.23 DRA), 139 H, 178 K, 53 BB, 16 HR, 19 percent K-BB rate, 35 percent GB rate

Why Odorizzi in Game 3

Odorizzi seemed like a slam-dunk choice to start in Game 2, yet Rocco Baldelli held him for Game 3. The right-hander faced the Yankees twice in the regular season and his one poor start came in Minnesota, so it isn’t just that.

But Odorizzi is an extreme fly ball pitcher, which better suits Target Field than Yankee Stadium. Among pitchers with at least 150 innings this year, Odorizzi was tied for the second-lowest groundball rate.

Furthermore, Odorizzi may have needed time for health reasons. He left his start on Sept. 24 with hamstring tightness and missed the season finale. He’ll have to prove he’s healthy, in addition to his ability to compete with the Yankees’ lineup.

His Stuff

Odorizzi sports one of the best fastballs in baseball and he uses it often. His four-seamer leads his repertoire ahead of a cutter, splitter and curveball, though he’s mostly a fastball-splitter pitcher with few curves.

Of his secondary pitches, he throws the cutter nearly exclusively to righties, while saving the splitter for left-handed batters. The curveball is mostly there to steal strikes early in a count, not as a putaway pitch. The 75.4 mph offering won’t be seen frequently.

Odorizzi’s cutter is more along the lines of James Paxton’s cutter than CC Sabathia’s cutter as it’s legitimately offspeed, nearly in the vein of a slider. Odorizzi averaged a career-high 92.9 mph on his fastball while his cutter comes in at 85.4 mph. Both the four-seamer and cutter get significant horizontal break.

% to RHB% to LHBAvg. Velo (mph)Whiff %
Four-seam FB50.465.992.930.8
Cutter32.43.885.420.6
Splitter10.823.885.227.4
Curveball6.46.275.416.2

As you can see in the table above, his fastball is potent, getting swings and misses at an extremely high rate for a starter. With a new pitching coach and more velocity, he’s throwing it more often and more effectively than ever.

Odorizzi’s four-seam/cutter approach against righties has led to a significant platoon split. Same-sided hitters batted just .194/.266/.319 (57 OPS+) while lefties hit .277/.335/.426 (100 OPS+) off the right-hander.

With the Yankees sporting seven right-handed batters in their regular lineup, Odorizzi will have to hit them with fastballs up in the zone and cutters/sliders down and away. If his season splits hold up, this could be an ideal matchup for the right-hander.

As a side note, Odorizzi loves to make pickoff throws, but he’s been successful at nabbing runners infrequently. One of his two pickoffs this season was of DJ LeMahieu in May.

History vs. NYY

Odorizzi has had a confusing career against the Yankees, particularly since joining the Twins. In 2018, he was slammed at Yankee Stadium before pitching a gem at Target Field. In 2019, the opposite happened.

He shut out the Yankees for six innings on May 4, allowing just a pair of singles around four walks. On July 24 in Minnesota, he was slammed for nine runs in 3 2/3 innings, allowing extra-base hits to Edwin Encarnacion, Didi Gregorius, Mike Tauchman, Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres.

Six of the projected members of the Yankees’ lineup have home runs against him, though he’s held the Bombers to a .215/.303/.424 average in his career. He’s been particularly good against Encarnacion, Gregorius and Brett Gardner, but Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge have hit him well in small samples.

Keys to the Start

Homers, homers, homers: These first two keys are carryovers from Randy Dobnak’s Game 2 outing, but they’re just as important for Odorizzi.
Dobnak kept the Yankees in the ballpark while doing little else. Odorizzi had a career-low 0.91 home runs per nine innings, yet his flyball tendencies could take a turn for the worse against the Bombers.

Going deep: The Twins have gotten a total of six innings from their starters in Games 1 and 2. Even with a day off before Game 3, they still need length from Odorizzi with a bullpen game looming in Game 4.

Granted, the Yankees also have a J.A. Happ-led bullpen game coming, but this series has exposed the Twins’ lack of capable arms.

Via Baseball Prospectus, the Twins are 9-1 this season when Odorizzi completes six innings. Even five strong innings with Taylor Rogers looming for two frames would be a godsend for Minnesota.

Fastball (up and) in the zone: Odorizzi has had average command this season, but that won’t cut it against the Yankees. They’ve pulverized Twins pitchers with their selectivity in the first two games of this series and they did the same to Odorizzi back in July. If he can’t throw effective strikes with his fastball, he’ll be in for a short outing.

But if he can recreate his May success in the Bronx and throw his fastball by the Yankees’ righty-heavy nine, he can helps the Twins extend this series.

ALDS Game 2: Yankees clobber Twins behind Didi, Tanaka

Curtain call. (MLB Gifs)

It’s Yankees-Twins. What did you expect?

For the 12th straight time, the Yankees topped Minnesota in the postseason and they didn’t mess around this time, clobbering the Twins for an 8-2 victory in ALDS Game 2.

The Bombers now have a 2-0 lead in the ALDS and will have three chances to take the series, starting with Game 3 on Monday in Minnesota. But before we turn our attention to the road, let’s appreciate the dominant Yankees win Saturday.

The Yankees lineup broke the Twins in Game 2

It took all of two batters for the night to turn for Twins starter Randy Dobnak. Facing DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, he gave up a double and was worked for a walk. The rookie seemed tentative and the crowd was on him right away.

The Yankees didn’t waste the opportunity. After a flyout advanced LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnación lined a single into left for a lead the Bombers wouldn’t surrender. A Giancarlo Stanton double play ended the rally (he looks a little slow out of the box, right? I might be imagining things), but the Bombers kept the pressure on.

After two two-out singles in the second inning failed to score, Judge led off with a single in the third. Brett Gardner promptly walked and Encarnación singled again, basically to the same spot.

There, Rocco Baldelli had to admit defeat on the Dobnak experiment. The rookie couldn’t handle the moment and with a 1-0 deficit and the bases juiced, he called on Tyler Duffey.

Duffey couldn’t stop the bleeding. He gave up a long sacrifice fly to Stanton and an RBI single to Gleyber Torres before hitting Gary Sánchez with a pitch. He got to two strikes on all three hitters and was now down 3-0 with the bases again loaded.

Enter Didi Gregorius.

THAT’S YOUR STARTING SHORTSTOP!

The Didi Grand Slam

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Remember when there was talk about Sir Mariekson Julius Gregorius not starting in October? LOL. Aaron Boone had to answer questions about whether he was healthy before this game. I think those questions can officially go away with his third inning.

With the bases juiced and a 3-0 lead, Didi immediately got behind 0-2. After tossing a ball, Duffey left a fastball over the heart of the plate and … GREGORIUS WAS ABSOLUTE BOX OFFICE.

OK, that video was good. But let’s get the proper angle.

The pause at home plate. The “Oh, did I do that?” expression. The nonchalant bat flip. Didi taught a class in how to pimp a homer with that celebration. That was a special moment. Not his top October moment, mind you, but this is in the pantheon of overall Gregorius moments.

Postseason #TanakaTime

From the first batter of the game, it was clear that Masahiro Tanaka was sharp. The right-hander once again saved his best for October and came out firing with sliders and splitters that flabbergasted the Twins.

His only jam came in the first inning. He hit Jorge Polanco with a misplaced slider and gave up an infield single to Nelson Cruz. It would have been a double play if it didn’t deflect off Tanaka.

No worries, though: Tanaka promptly got a 3-6-1 double play off Eddie Rosario’s bat. (Sidebar: Tanaka should have received a Gold Glove by this point in his career. He’s a superb fielder and covering first there was just another example).

After that, he retired the next seven batters he faced before walking Cruz in the fourth inning.

The Twins strung together two singles after Cruz’s walk in the fourth to score a run, but Tanaka focused in to strike out Luis Arraez and Miguel Sano (Sano was just waving at anything. Not a good AB). Arraez struck out twice in a game just four times all season, but Tanaka got him in each of his first two at-bats.

Tanaka finished his night with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Even with an 8-1 lead, Boone didn’t want to mess around and have Tanaka go through the order a third time.

In the end, Tanaka tossed 83 pitches, 52 for strikes, and faced 19 batters. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out seven. He got 16 swings and misses and threw just 16 fastballs (19.3 percent of his pitches), opting for 35 sliders and 28 splitters. It was vintage #TANAK.

Offense tepid after Didi slam

The Yankees got another run in the third inning. Devin Smeltzer took over after Duffey walked LeMahieu and allowed back-to-back singles to Judge and Gardner. Boom. 8-0 lead.

From there, the left-hander stifled the Bombers for 3 1/3 innings. He couldn’t get a 1-2-3 inning as he scattered a couple hits and three walks, but he settled the game down, though the Yankees’ pitchers didn’t let the Twins back in the game.

Combined with sterling mop-up relief against the Yankees in July, Smeltzer passed a silent audition for a Game 4 (if necessary) start. Unless Jose Berrios goes on short rest, it would probably be a bullpen game started by Smeltzer if the Twins make it to Game 4.

Still, the Twins were unable to get through a single inning without a Yankees hitter reaching base. Though the Bombers took their foot off the gas, they kept the Minnesota relievers working.

Leftovers

  • The Yankees tied their franchise postseason record for runs in an inning with the seven-run third.
  • Can we talk about Aaron Judge? Oh my goodness. After going 1-for-3 with two walks in Game 1, he went 2-for-3 with two walks in Game 2. All the hits were singles, but he is incredibly locked in and just keeps the lineup moving from the No. 2 spot. Between him and LeMahieu, the Yankees are giving themselves multiple runners on every time the lineup turns over.
  • The Yankees’ top relievers cleaned up. Tommy Kahnle went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts against the 2-3-4 hitters for the Twins, then Adam Ottavino pitched around a one-out double for a scoreless seventh.
  • From there, Tyler Lyons struck out two in a scoreless inning and Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run with two outs in the ninth.
  • Stanton went 0-for-2 with a walk and sac fly. He again was lifted for a pinch runner (Cameron Maybin) and played just six innings. Keeping him fresh when he’s not 100 percent is possible when you’re up by seven runs.
  • Encarnación, Gregorius, Judge and Gio Urshela each had two hits while LeMahieu and Gardner each had a hit and a walk. Sánchez walked and was hit by a pitch. Encarnación and Gregorius also walked. Everyone got in on the action.
  • The last team to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win the ALDS? The 2017 Yankees. Before them, it was the 2012 Giants topping the Reds after blowing Games 1 and 2 at home.

The Yankees have a day off and will then try to close out the series in Minnesota on Monday night. It’ll be Luis Severino against Jake Odorizzi on FS1 with an 8:40 p.m. start. Late-night Yankees!

ALDS Game 2: Yankees clobber Twins behind Didi, Tanaka

Curtain call. (MLB Gifs)

It’s Yankees-Twins. What did you expect?

For the 12th straight time, the Yankees topped Minnesota in the postseason and they didn’t mess around this time, clobbering the Twins for an 8-2 victory in ALDS Game 2.

The Bombers now have a 2-0 lead in the ALDS and will have three chances to take the series, starting with Game 3 on Monday in Minnesota. But before we turn our attention to the road, let’s appreciate the dominant Yankees win Saturday.

The Yankees lineup broke the Twins in Game 2

It took all of two batters for the night to turn for Twins starter Randy Dobnak. Facing DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, he gave up a double and was worked for a walk. The rookie seemed tentative and the crowd was on him right away.

The Yankees didn’t waste the opportunity. After a flyout advanced LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnación lined a single into left for a lead the Bombers wouldn’t surrender. A Giancarlo Stanton double play ended the rally (he looks a little slow out of the box, right? I might be imagining things), but the Bombers kept the pressure on.

After two two-out singles in the second inning failed to score, Judge led off with a single in the third. Brett Gardner promptly walked and Encarnación singled again, basically to the same spot.

There, Rocco Baldelli had to admit defeat on the Dobnak experiment. The rookie couldn’t handle the moment and with a 1-0 deficit and the bases juiced, he called on Tyler Duffey.

Duffey couldn’t stop the bleeding. He gave up a long sacrifice fly to Stanton and an RBI single to Gleyber Torres before hitting Gary Sánchez with a pitch. He got to two strikes on all three hitters and was now down 3-0 with the bases again loaded.

Enter Didi Gregorius.

THAT’S YOUR STARTING SHORTSTOP!

The Didi Grand Slam

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Remember when there was talk about Sir Mariekson Julius Gregorius not starting in October? LOL. Aaron Boone had to answer questions about whether he was healthy before this game. I think those questions can officially go away with his third inning.

With the bases juiced and a 3-0 lead, Didi immediately got behind 0-2. After tossing a ball, Duffey left a fastball over the heart of the plate and … GREGORIUS WAS ABSOLUTE BOX OFFICE.

OK, that video was good. But let’s get the proper angle.

The pause at home plate. The “Oh, did I do that?” expression. The nonchalant bat flip. Didi taught a class in how to pimp a homer with that celebration. That was a special moment. Not his top October moment, mind you, but this is in the pantheon of overall Gregorius moments.

Postseason #TanakaTime

From the first batter of the game, it was clear that Masahiro Tanaka was sharp. The right-hander once again saved his best for October and came out firing with sliders and splitters that flabbergasted the Twins.

His only jam came in the first inning. He hit Jorge Polanco with a misplaced slider and gave up an infield single to Nelson Cruz. It would have been a double play if it didn’t deflect off Tanaka.

No worries, though: Tanaka promptly got a 3-6-1 double play off Eddie Rosario’s bat. (Sidebar: Tanaka should have received a Gold Glove by this point in his career. He’s a superb fielder and covering first there was just another example).

After that, he retired the next seven batters he faced before walking Cruz in the fourth inning.

The Twins strung together two singles after Cruz’s walk in the fourth to score a run, but Tanaka focused in to strike out Luis Arraez and Miguel Sano (Sano was just waving at anything. Not a good AB). Arraez struck out twice in a game just four times all season, but Tanaka got him in each of his first two at-bats.

Tanaka finished his night with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Even with an 8-1 lead, Boone didn’t want to mess around and have Tanaka go through the order a third time.

In the end, Tanaka tossed 83 pitches, 52 for strikes, and faced 19 batters. He gave up three hits, walked one and struck out seven. He got 16 swings and misses and threw just 16 fastballs (19.3 percent of his pitches), opting for 35 sliders and 28 splitters. It was vintage #TANAK.

Offense tepid after Didi slam

The Yankees got another run in the third inning. Devin Smeltzer took over after Duffey walked LeMahieu and allowed back-to-back singles to Judge and Gardner. Boom. 8-0 lead.

From there, the left-hander stifled the Bombers for 3 1/3 innings. He couldn’t get a 1-2-3 inning as he scattered a couple hits and three walks, but he settled the game down, though the Yankees’ pitchers didn’t let the Twins back in the game.

Combined with sterling mop-up relief against the Yankees in July, Smeltzer passed a silent audition for a Game 4 (if necessary) start. Unless Jose Berrios goes on short rest, it would probably be a bullpen game started by Smeltzer if the Twins make it to Game 4.

Still, the Twins were unable to get through a single inning without a Yankees hitter reaching base. Though the Bombers took their foot off the gas, they kept the Minnesota relievers working.

Leftovers

  • The Yankees tied their franchise postseason record for runs in an inning with the seven-run third.
  • Can we talk about Aaron Judge? Oh my goodness. After going 1-for-3 with two walks in Game 1, he went 2-for-3 with two walks in Game 2. All the hits were singles, but he is incredibly locked in and just keeps the lineup moving from the No. 2 spot. Between him and LeMahieu, the Yankees are giving themselves multiple runners on every time the lineup turns over.
  • The Yankees’ top relievers cleaned up. Tommy Kahnle went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts against the 2-3-4 hitters for the Twins, then Adam Ottavino pitched around a one-out double for a scoreless seventh.
  • From there, Tyler Lyons struck out two in a scoreless inning and Jonathan Loaisiga gave up a run with two outs in the ninth.
  • Stanton went 0-for-2 with a walk and sac fly. He again was lifted for a pinch runner (Cameron Maybin) and played just six innings. Keeping him fresh when he’s not 100 percent is possible when you’re up by seven runs.
  • Encarnación, Gregorius, Judge and Gio Urshela each had two hits while LeMahieu and Gardner each had a hit and a walk. Sánchez walked and was hit by a pitch. Encarnación and Gregorius also walked. Everyone got in on the action.
  • The last team to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win the ALDS? The 2017 Yankees. Before them, it was the 2012 Giants topping the Reds after blowing Games 1 and 2 at home.

The Yankees have a day off and will then try to close out the series in Minnesota on Monday night. It’ll be Luis Severino against Jake Odorizzi on FS1 with an 8:40 p.m. start. Late-night Yankees!

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