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Sports Three takeaways from Yankees' ALCS Game 5 victory over the Astros

09:50  19 october  2019
09:50  19 october  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

Three takeaways from Yankees' ALCS Game 1 win over the Astros

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The Yankees forced a Game 6 on Friday as it topped the Astros 4-1 in the American League Championship Series.

They kept hope alive thanks to some impressive starting pitching and a pair of early home runs.

Now the Astros will have to defend home turf in an attempt to avoid a Game 7 and advance to the World Series.

Here are three takeaways from the Yankees' win:

New York found quality pitching when it mattered most

The Yankees have made it a point to utilize a host of pitchers in the ALCS, but they got a great performance from starter James Paxton and a trio of relievers in a critical game that could've ended their season. Paxton gave up four hits and one earned run in six innings of work, notching nine strikeouts. Then Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman combined to give up one hit for the remainder of the contest once Paxton was taken out.

ALCS Game 4 postponed for rain, Yanks-Astros resume Thursday

  ALCS Game 4 postponed for rain, Yanks-Astros resume Thursday NEW YORK — Game 4 of the AL Championship Series scheduled for Wednesday night has been postponed because of rain in the forecast. The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will play Game 4 on Thursday night instead, with Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium and Game 6 in Houston on Saturday if necessary. Houston beat New York 4-1 in the Bronx on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead. It's expected that Houston will start Zack Greinke against the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of Game 1. Tanaka pitched six sterling innings as New York won the opener 7-0.

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The Astros' five hits in the contest were their second-lowest total in the series, after being held to just three in their Game 1 loss.

The stage wasn't too big for Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks was an unlikely hero for the Yankees on Friday. Although the outfielder was initially ruled out for the season in August after suffering a flexor strain in his elbow, he returned from a two-month hiatus to face Houston and help his team with its World Series push. He blasted a three-run homer off the foul pole in the first inning, and that made all the difference in Game 5.

New York scored all four of its runs in the first inning before going into a scoring drought. But it didn't matter because the Astros experienced a drought of their own. Now the Yankees will likely benefit from a bullpen game Saturday, and there will be ample opportunity for other players to unexpectedly tee off without facing the best of Houston's starters.

Justin Verlander continues to be plagued by home runs

Justin Verlander gave up a career-high 36 home runs in 2019, and that trend has followed him into the postseason. Even though Hicks' home run nearly hooked right of the foul pole, DJ LeMahieu also hit a solo homer and those were the decisive moments in the game. Verlander has given up 10 runs and five home runs in his last three appearances.

Verlander rebounded tremendously from his poor start in his seven-inning outing, tallying nine strikeouts, but the offense couldn't get flowing and now Houston faces a difficult situation. The Astros' trio of starters has been heralded as the best in MLB, but Gerrit Cole won't be ready to go on short rest in Game 6.

New York has coasted on power hitting all season long, and now it can take advantage of not having to face elite starters as it looks to force a Game 7.

Three takeaways from Astros' Game 3 World Series win over Nationals .
Houston beat Washington 4-1 on the road to get back into contention for its second championship in three seasons. The Astros were led by José Altuve, who finished 2 of 5 at the plate with two runs scored. Meanwhile, Asdrúbal Cabrera and Adam Eaton led the Nationals' losing efforts as they both finished 2 of 4 on the night.Josh James was awarded the win after 1/3 inning of work while Roberto Osuna got his second save. Aníbal Sánchez was stuck with the loss.Houston's victory broke Washington's eight-game winning streak in the postseason.

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