CC Sabathia, who helped the Yankees to victory in Game 5 of the ALDS, will take the mound for NY, while the Astros turn to Charlie Morton, who, in case you missed it, now throws in the mid-90s and can strike out tons of batters.
Since 2009, the Yankees have won 11 of Sabathia's 15 postseason starts. And don't take the above paragraph to mean we expect the Yankees to win just because they're playing in front of a crowd that supports them.
"I know our heads will be held up high", third baseman Todd Frazier said, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
The Yankees did seem to dodge a bullet with the pitcher who was their ace during the regular season. Judge and Sanchez are a combined 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts in the ALCS after going 5-for-43 with 26 strikeouts in the Division Series.
Verlander will face the Yankees Saturday in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
"It might be present in the back of my mind, but I don't think it would overly dictate the way that I throw", Morton said. "We've counted on them all year". "You don't envision going 5-0 in the regular season once you get here, that's all fine and great, but that's not why I was brought here".
Correa homered in the fourth for the Astros - a play that evoked memories of Jeffery Maier in the 1996 ALCS at Yankee Stadium - when a 12-year-old Houston fan reached for the liner just over the right-field wall. The Astros are plus-114 underdogs (wager $100 to win $114) to take a 3-0 series lead.
If the Astros win: They will gain a stranglehold on the series, if they haven't already.
Girardi knows that won't be a problem, but he also knows pitching hasn't been the issue through the first two games of the series. They also would remain undefeated at home in these playoffs.
"Being a one to one game the whole way and being able to go nine", Justin said, "Just everything, it's definitely one of the most satisfying starts I've had in my career".
One key stat to know: Neither team scored many runs in Houston, but true to form, the Astros made a lot more contact. The second is that NY has won every must-win game of these playoffs: the aforementioned three games, as well as Game 5 in Cleveland.
Masahiro Tanaka will be the starting pitcher for the Yankees. This isn't a two-game ALCS phenomenon for the Yankees either.
Luckily for the Yankees, those following Dallas Keuchel and Verlander in the Houston rotation are not quite the same pitchers. Following a complete-game masterpiece from Justin Verlander, the double-play duo teamed up for a walk-off with the help of some poor execution by the Yankees defense.
Hinch hasn't demonstrated much faith in any relievers other than closer Ken Giles. Tanaka followed it in a 1-0 Game victory in the Wild Card Game 3 against the Indians in the ALDS. "The type of two starts that we've gotten, it's pretty obvious it's been a little bit of a surprising lack of pitching usage". It's the ninth time - and second straight time in two seasons they've fallen behind in the first two games of an ALCS. But the Yankees can win a slugfest, too.
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