Throughout the first half of the 2022 regular season, it seemed like the Yankees and the Houston Astros were on a collision course. As the top two teams in the MLS, they will have to meet in the AL Championship Series to determine the league’s logo and the right to play in the World Championship.
Here they are at the end. The path was clear for the Astros, who earned the AL number one seed in the post-season and swept Seattle in the Major League Series. It was a more volatile path for the Yankees, who took home a 5-1 win Tuesday in the winner-takes-all fifth game of a league series against the Cleveland Guardians that felt like they might never end.
The Yankees rode the left arm of Nestor Curtis, who started on a short rest and only coughed once during five effective rounds. They rode at bat from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who both took early leave and calmed the nerves of Yankees fans. They rode the bulls, woefully drained by injuries, and threw four goal-free runs to seal the victory.
“It’s important to deliver the first blow, especially when all hands are on board,” Stanton said in an on-court interview after the game, referring to his team’s shooting crew.
Nearly 24 hours after the final game in the Bronx on Tuesday, the Yankees will start Houston’s top-of-seven ALCS against the once-comfortable Astros, who have only played three times in the past 13 days. And up the hill the Astros will go with their stock, AL Cy Young’s number one contender Justin Verlander at age 39 after returning from Tommy John’s surgery. In order to oust the Guardians, the Yankees needed to start ace Gerrit Cole twice, including on Sunday, so right-hander Jameson Tellon was asked to start the first game of the ALCS
The Astros, making their sixth consecutive ALCS appearance, are the familiar and annoying October enemy of the Yankees. The two previous times, the Yankees made it to the ALCS — in 2017 and in 2019 — they were eliminated by the Astros.
“We kind of eventually came to the conclusion at some point that we would see each other again,” the judge said. He later added, referring to the Astros’ third businessman, Alex Bregman, “I talk to Bregman about it and every year it’s like, ‘We’ll see you at CS’ It’s going to be a fun game. You’ll probably go seven games. We’ll see what happens.”
The Yankees had reason to worry about their 2017 exit in seven games from the ALCS The Astros, who won the world championship that year, later found out that he Illegal theft of tags This season is postseason. Major League Baseball penalized the Astros, who in turn fired their general manager and manager at the time. In 2019, the Astros beat the Yankees in six games, but fell to the Washington Nationals in the seven-game World Series.
“My ultimate goal is to go out there and win the world championship, and this is a team that has always been in its way,” Judge said.
This season, although the Yankees struggled in the second half, they and the Astros were the two best teams in the AL. They had their first two qualifying rounds, with the Astros in first place as they won 106 games. To 99 Yankees. The Astros swept Seattle into their league series, while the Yankees needed five games – and a week – to infiltrate the Guardians.
“A tight, tough streak,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
This series is defined by more stops than the beginning. Game 2 was in the Bronx Postponed from Thursday to Friday because of the rain. Match 5 was also postponed due to rain from Monday to Tuesday – originally a day of travel and practice – but only after teams and fans waited two and a half hours before being sent home by MLB
Whether it’s rain or not, the Guardians have proven difficult to get out of. Despite the major league-record roster for the most rookies (17) in a league or league winning team whose payroll was $90 million (compared to $259 million at the Yankees), his strong narrative, solid defense and annoying batting propelled the Yankees. to the edge of the abyss.
Throughout the series, they exposed some of the Yankees’ weaknesses, particularly in defense and in their bases. But on Tuesday, the Yankees used the formula that has carried them this season: strong starts and springboards, classes that have been among the best — if not the best — in MLB.
The Yankees dominated the game from the start. The Guardians’ right-hand guard Aaron Seval walked past Yankees forward, Gleyber Torres, over four pitches. The judge’s write-off was his only achievement.
Then he hit first baseman Anthony Rizzo with a projectile. Stanton let the first two balls pass by him and then swung the first court into the strike zone, sending them to the right court benches to blast three runs that lit up Yankee Stadium.
The next hitter, Josh Donaldson, hit a single and Civale was removed from the game. The guards now had to cover the 26 outside with their rods. However, Curtis saved the Yankees’ relief teams from the heavy burden.
“I knew from that moment on, all I had to do was throw hits and be able to get us as deep as possible,” Curtis said of Stanton’s home run.
As he split the Guardians lineup, his teammates gave him more wiggle room. In the second inning, Judge hit a curve ball from left savior Sam Hentges over the center right field fence for a solo blowout. It was the fourth time at home in a game that the winner had won everything, and the most in MLB history, according to the Yankees.
Rizzo gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning single-handedly. After catching the final at second base, Torres made a baby-shaking motion with his arms, taunted by goalkeeper Josh Naylor, who did so to Cole after his home run in Game 4. Torres called Naylor’s celebration a “disrespect” toward him and the Yankees said they got ” A little bit of revenge.”
“We are happy to beat these guys and now they can watch the next series on TV,” he added.
At the club and on the field, Yankees celebrated with beer and champagne. But some not so much. The drenched Taillon said he never took a sip of alcohol. “I just wear a lot of it.” The next round and the Astros were already on it.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”