Greg Bird Lifts Yankees With Solo Bomb As Elimination Is Avoided
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Greg Bird #33 of the New York Yankees hits a solo-homerun during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in game three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees live to see another day, as Masahiro Tanaka and Greg Bird postpone the Cleveland Indians potential advancement.

  • Cleveland Indians: 0 (2-0)
  • New York Yankees: 1 (0-2)
  • American League Division Series Game 3, FINAL, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

The New York Yankees prevailed in a pitcher’s duel in Game 3 of the American League Division Series over the Cleveland Indians by a score of 1-0 and live to see another day.

Both starters were masterful, as Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka registered seven scoreless, three-hit innings with seven strikeouts while Indians’ starter Carlos Carrasco punched out seven hitters over 5.2 scoreless innings.

In fact, New York wouldn’t take their lead until the bottom of the seventh off super reliever Andrew Miller, who allowed just one home run to left-handed hitters all year.

Facing first baseman Greg Bird, Miller saw a 95 MPH fastball get turned on and drilled deep into the second deck to put the Yankees’ up by a score of 1-0. According to Katie Sharp of River Avenue Blues, that blast made Bird the first Yankees’ hitter with a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later in a potential elimination game since Aaron Boone in the 2003 ALCS.

With a one-run cushion, manager Joe Girardi called upon David Robertson in the eighth but certainly kept him on a short leash. After Robertson walked Michael Brantley, it was Aroldis Chapman‘s turn to bridge the gap to the ninth inning.

That decision proved to be worth it, as the flame-throwing closer fanned Yan Gomes with a 103 MPH heater before sending down Giovanny Urshela with a 102 MPH fastball to end the inning. As the game progressed to the ninth, the Yankees found themselves three outs away from surviving to see another day but it wouldn’t come easy as Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez were due up.

After Chapman blew 102 MPH smoke by Lindor for the first out, Kipnis followed with a single, making Ramirez the go-ahead run with one on and one out. The MVP candidate reached on an infield single, but Chapman wasn’t phased by the ultimate jam on the ultimate stage.

Chapman handed Jay Bruce a golden sombrero with his fourth strikeout of the night, then punched the Yankees’ ticket to Game 4 of the ALDS after getting Carlos Santana to fly out to deep centerfield.

Miller Time? More Like Bird Light: 

Indians’ reliever Andrew Miller held left-handed batters to a .164/.268/.213 slash line in the 2017 regular season. The only lefty to homer off him in 2017 was Cody Bellinger on June 13. That is, before Bird’s bomb.

Backs Against The Wall: 

Since winning the final three games against the Oakland Athletics in the 2001 ALDS, the Yankees are now 8-11 in potential elimination games. That includes a 7-5 record at home and a 1-6 record on the road.

This Day In Yankees’ History:

On Oct. 8, 1939, the Yankees won their eighth World Series title by completing a four-game sweep of the Reds, coming from behind for a 7-4 victory by scoring twice in the top of the ninth and adding three runs in the 10th.

What’s Next: 

After surviving the elimination game, the Yankees will look to do it again on Monday night in the Bronx with ace Luis Severino scheduled to get the nod.

The 23-year-old turned in a dud in the AL Wild Card game with a 29-pitch outing that resulted in three earned runs after just one out, Severino will look to channel the version of himself that posted the third-best ERA in the league during the regular season. For Cleveland, their starting pitcher is listed as “to be determined.”

First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will air on Fox Sports 1 or on the radio on WFAN 660AM/101.9 FM.