Yanks Capture AL Division Series

James Kim, Staff Writer

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After the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins in the wildcard to advance to the ALDS, baseball fans were aware of the match up coming up. New York was going to face the one of the best teams in major league baseball, the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland was favored to win for countless reasons: they won the world series last season, they have Corey Kluber (potential Cy Young award winner), the team achieved a historic record this season by winning 22 games in a row, and their lineup consists of players such as Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Ramirez. The New York Yankees were the clear underdogs in this series.

The Indians started off strong and won the first two games in Cleveland. Game two was a thriller that lasted 13 innings and involved a five-run comeback by the Indians. Cleveland had to win one more game to win the division series and move on the championship series. Fans and sports analysts speculated that the Indians would breeze by the Yankees. However, New York was not done fighting. They won the next two games at Yankee Stadium after receiving incredible starts from pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. The series was now tied at 2 and once again, the Yanks were going to play a “do-or-die” game.

 

On Wednesday night, the teams went back to Cleveland to play game five. Veteran pitcher and former Indian himself, CC Sabathia, took the mound for New York while potential NL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber started for Cleveland. Through the first three innings, New York’s clutch starting shortstop (not Derek Jeter) Didi Gregorius hit two home runs to drive in 3 runs. Indians starter Corey Kluber was taken out in just the fourth inning, making it the second start in a row where he was taken out before finishing the fourth. With this comfortable lead, CC Sabathia pitched four scoreless innings. However, singles hit by Cleveland’s Roberto Perez and Giovanny Urshela in the fifth led to 2 scored runs. Despite his strong start, which included 9 strikeouts, Sabathia was taken out and David Robertson finished the inning. By the end of the fifth, the score was 3-2 New York. This lead was extremely tight and for the next four innings, the intensity was extremely high. The score remained the same until the final inning in the top of the ninth. With two outs and two runners on, Yankee outfield Brett Gardner treated this at bat as if it was his last. He saw 11 pitches and on the 12th pitch, he drove a ball to right field which scored both runners (after a couple errors were committed by the Indians). The score was now 5-2 and the Indians were up. Aroldis Chapman, also known as the “Cuban Missile”, was on the mound. He threw his signature fastballs, most of which were clocked at 100 mph (as usual), and he successfully closed the game, ending it all by striking out Austin Jackson. The Yankees were American League Division Series champions.

 

The win marked the team’s first advancement to the championship series since 2012 and they will play the Houston Astros starting on Friday night. Regardless of who they are playing or what statistics say, the Yankees will never give up. Their young, strong players will hopefully lead them past Houston and ultimately to the World Series.

Picture from Sporting News

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