After one of the most all-around competitive MLB seasons in terms of playoff contenders, the well-under- way postseason has been far from disappointing. Finishing second in the American League East and solidifying home-field advantage in the newly implemented one- game wildcard playoff, the New York Yankees were set to take on the Minnesota Twins.
Despite giving up three runs in the first inning, the Yankees fought back quickly. After scoring three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first, the Yankees went on to beat Minnesota by a score of 8-4. The bullpen recorded all but one out for the team, as Luis Severino struggled in his first career postseason start. David Robertson and Tommy Khanle, who were acquired in a mid-season trade with the Chicago White Sox, came out of the bullpen and put on a great display. Unfortunately, for whoever won the one game playoff, the red-hot Cleveland Indians loomed.
From Aug. 24 to the end of the regular season on Oct. 1, the Indians held a remark- able record of 33 wins and four losses. The Indians also went on a 22-game winning streak during this time span, a streak second only to the 1916 New York Giants record, who won 26 games in a row. After losing the first two games in the best-of- five American League Divisional Series in Cleveland, things were looking bleak for the New York Yankees.
Given the track record of the Indians, losing three games in a row to the Yankees, or any team for that matter, just didn’t seem possible. After winning games three and four at home, the Yankees headed back to Cleveland to try and pull off one of the most improbable upsets of all time. Led by Didi Gregorius’ clutch two-home run game, the Yankees beat the Indians by a score of 5-2 and advanced to the American League Championship Series.
The Yankees had to play the winner of the Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros series, a series that Houston went on to win three games to one. While the Chicago Cubs were set to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, the Yankees once again had their hands full. Houston won 101 regular season games, finishing second in the American League to only the already-defeated Indians, who won 102.
Starting off in a manner similar to the Cleveland series, the Yankees lost the first two games in Houston by a score of 2-1 each. In a situation no team wants to be familiar with, the Yankees fought back once more. The resiliency and determination of the Yankees is unparalleled and their toughness prevailed once more. The Yankees won games three, four, and five at home again, giving them a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game six in Houston was pitched and won by pitcher Justin Verlander of the Astros, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers mid-season to help bolster their pitching staff. In five regular season starts with Houston, Verlander had a perfect record of five wins and no losses, along with an amazing earned run average(ERA) of just 1.06.
This postseason has been no different for the ace, who holds a record of four wins and no losses. In two starts against the Yankees in the ALCS, Verlander translated his success and allowed just one run in16 innings of masterfully pitched baseball. Unfortunately, the Yankees were unable to win games six and seven on the road, losing the series to Houston in a heartbreaking fashion.
The young team showed toughness and grit, and will certainly be a threat for many years to come. Led by Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino, the Yankees team has a bright future. The Houston Astros will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series that begins on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Los Angeles.