The Yankees have two games in which to win one, while for the Astros this is an elimination game. It’s a rematch of Game Two’s starting pitchers.
In Game Two, the Astros’ RHP Justin Verlander threw that most rare of things in this era, a complete game, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and striking out 13. His opponent will again be RHP Luis Severino, who was pulled from that game after just four innings “for precautionary reasons.” Before he left he’d given up just one run on two hits to the Astros.
Today in baseball history:
1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
2004 After losing the first three games of the ALCS, the Red Sox win four consecutive games to win the American League pennant, beating the Yankees in the Bronx, 10-3. Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth, and Derek Lowe’s solid pitching performance help Boston to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders as the only teams in the history of professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series.
The Yankees ask RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) to pitch them into a 1-1 tie in the series. The Astros ask RHP Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA) to get them to a 2-0 lead. Severino went seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits in Game Four of the ALDS against the Indians, while Verlander pitched six strong innings in Game One of the other ALDS against the Red Sox and then another 2 2/3 innings in Game Four to help close that series out.
Today in baseball history:
1976 The Yankees dramatically win their 30th pennant on Chris Chambliss’ home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The first baseman’s walk-off solo shot beats the Royals in Game Five and the deciding contest of the ALCS, 7-6.
1992 In Game 7 of the NLCS, Francisco Cabrera’s ninth inning, two-out pinch hit single tallies two runs, giving the Braves a stunning comeback victory, 3-2 over the Pirates. The backup catcher had only three hits during the regular season.
The Astros send out RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) to face RHP Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65 ERA) and the Red Sox. Porcello won the Cy Young Award last year, so he’s better than his record would indicate, Morton is a 10-year MLB veteran who had a career year.
It’s an elimination game for the Yankees. If the Indians win the series is over.
This is a rematch of Game One’s pitchers: Trevor Bauer for Cleveland and Luis Severino for New York. In that game Bauer gave up just two hits in 6 2/3 innings while Severino was done after giving up four hits, three runs and getting only one out.
I think it’s fair to say the Twins are the surprise team in these playoffs. The Yankees beat them 4-2 in the season series, including a three-game sweep two weeks ago. But as the prospectuses tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” so the Twins and Yankees have an equal chance of winning a single game against one another. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams.
The Twins probably feel good about pitching RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) since he’s had eight previous post-season appearances including two starts. On the other hand, the most recent of those was in 2009 with the Angels. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), who’s in his third year in the big leagues but his first postseason at any level.
These two teams have been locked into the Wild Card game since midsummer when it became apparent they’d be chasing the Dodgers for the NL West title all season. There were only two other teams who came close to catching them, the Brewers and the Cardinals, falling short by one and four games respectively. It’s astonishing to note that the NL only had seven teams finish above .500 — the three division leaders, the Rockies, D-backs, Brewers and Redbirds.
Pitching for the Diamondbacks in Coors Field will be RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA), one of five 17-game winners in the big leagues this season (there were four 18-game winners; no one won more). His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 2.67 ERA). Greinke is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason appearances; this will be Gray’s first. Gray’s on a 13-game run of allowing three runs or fewer and has gone 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts. Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA over his last five.
Today in baseball history:
1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
1951 In Game 3 of National League play-off series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world’, becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.
1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
1972 Surpassing Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente appears in his 2,433rd game for the most ever played by a Pirate. Sadly, it will be the last regular season game the Pittsburgh outfielder will ever play as he will be killed in a plane crash during the off-season.
1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career comes to an end when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign 10 games behind the Reds. During his tenure, which began in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.
There are a lot of other things that happened on this day in baseball history; you can see the rest at National Pastime.