Four uncharacteristic errors by the Cleveland Indians and timely Yankee hitting lead the New York Yankees to a huge Game 4 victory to force this series back to Cleveland.
- New York Yankees 7 (2-2)
- Cleveland Indians 3 (2-2)
- W: Luis Severino (1-0, 3.86 ERA)
- L: Trevor Bauer (1-1, 0.00 ERA)
- ALDS, Final, Box Score
- Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
The game was originally billed as a pitcher’s duel between Luis Severino and Trevor Bauer, but Bauer did not excel on just three days of rest and only lasted just shy of two full innings. Luis Severino, on the other hand, was simply brilliant tonight as the Yankee ace allowed just three runs en route to his first career playoff victory.
GAME 5. #Yankees, Indians, 2017 ALDS. pic.twitter.com/JPH0QONrwu
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) October 10, 2017
Bombers Bounce Bauer
While Luis Severino allowed just one hit while striking out three through two scoreless frames, Trevor Bauer served up four runs in the bottom of the second as the Game 1 winner hit the showers really early.
Starlin Castro started the rally by hitting a one-out rocket to third base where it ricochetted off of third baseman Giovanny Urshela, trickling far away enough to allow Castro to reach. After Chase Headley struck out for the second out of the inning, Castro took second on a passed ball during Todd Frazier‘s at-bat. And the catching miscue immediately proved costly as Frazier laced a double into the left-field corner that scored Castro from second to give the Yankees a 1-0 advantage.
Todd Frazier drives in the game's first run with an RBI double. Yankees lead 1-0. pic.twitter.com/m4qDrwMuej
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 9, 2017
Following suit, Aaron Hicks smoked a single into center to score Frazier from second, making it 2-0 Bombers. After Brett Gardner got in on the party with a double of his own to send Hicks to third, His Excellency Aaron Judge roasted a double off the top of the wall in left that scored both Hicks and Gardner to make it a four-run Yankees advantage.
BOOMING 2-RBI double for Aaron Judge! Yankees lead 4-0. pic.twitter.com/3CUiQ55PJX
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 10, 2017
The double was Judge’s first hit in the ALDS, having gone 0-for-11 with nine punch outs up to that point.
After a Didi Gregorius intentional walk put two men on with still two men down, Indians manager Terry Francona popped out of the dugout and pulled his starter, Bauer. Although not a single run of those four runs were charged to Bauer; they all count the same on the scoreboard. and Bauer and the Indians were in quite the hole after just two frames in the Boogie Down.
More Cleveland miscues allowed the Yankees to push another run across in the bottom of the third. The Yankees loaded the bases with two down, and the young Urshela’s defensive struggles continued as an errant thrown from the third baseman forced in Greg Bird from third to make it a 5-0 ball game.
Severino Sings the Long Ball Blues
While Luis Severino was cruising through the first three frames, the fourth inning is where the 2017 Yankee ace served up his first ALDS runs. After walking Jay Bruce,; Severino hung a slider to Carlos Santana, who promptly deposited it into Monument Park for a two-run jack that pulled the Indians to within three at 5-2.
Gone! @TheRealSlamtana cuts into the deficit with a 2-run blast to center to get the @Indians going. #RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/OtpxexXmk2
— SportsTime Ohio (@SportsTimeOhio) October 10, 2017
Then in the top of the fifth, the light hitting Cleveland backstop Carlos Perez took Severino deep for an opposite field job that brought the Tribe back to within two at 5-3.
Can’t Spell Cleveland Without “E”
Continuing their game-long trend, the Cleveland Indians defense once again failed them as the Yankees got one of those three runs back in the bottom of the fifth.
Right-handed reliever Danny Salazar got Todd Frazier to bounce one right back to himself on the mound to begin the frame. But the return throw to first sailed over the head of the first baseman Santana to allow Frazier to make it all the way up to second base. After an Aaron Hicks ground out moved Frazier to third, Brett Gardner lofted a shallow fly ball to center for out number two. Much to the surprise of centerfielder Jason Kipnis and Yankee fans everywhere, Frazier took off from third and slid in perfectly for the Yankees sixth run of the night.
.@robperez2015 loves October! Another @Indians home run makes it a 5-3 ball game. #RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/syrOwxIxz0
— SportsTime Ohio (@SportsTimeOhio) October 10, 2017
The Great Sanchino
Just when it looked like every Yankee run was going to be of the “unearned” variety, Gary Sanchez ensured that at least one run they pushed across tonight would be charged to an Indian hurler.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Sanchez hit a laser-line drive deep to right and over the wall for an opposite field solo job that pushed the Yankees back out to a four run lead at 7-3.
.@ElGarySanchez ain’t ready to stop playing yet. #ALDS pic.twitter.com/msSFQ38P1I
— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2017
Just as Yankees radio play-by-play man John Sterling said, “If the Yankees can get Sanchez going, these Indians and possibly even the Astros really need to look out.” Could not have said it better myself.
Thumbs Down, Lights Out
Despite Dellin Betances coming on in the eighth and making things interesting, Tommy Kahnle came on in relief of Betances and proceed to shut down the Tribe in both the eighth and ninth innings to lock down the huge Game 4 victory. Betances looked like he couldn’t find the strike zone; but Kahnle absolutely could. and did so without allowing a single base runner.
Tonight’s win obviously forces these two teams back to Cleveland for the win-or-go-home fifth and final game of this American League Division Series.
As reported earlier today by Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch, C.C. Sabathia will take the mound for the biggest game of the 2017 campaign. Sabathia pitched well on Friday night in Cleveland, and was controversially removed from the game before Chad Green and the Yankees let Cleveland back into a game they would eventually win. For Cleveland, 2017 Cy Young Award hopeful Corey Kluber gets the nod in hopes of not repeating his subpar performance on that same Friday night.