After surviving in Game 3 of the ALDS by a score of 1-0, the 2017 New York Yankees have drawn an interesting correlation.
It was easily the biggest postseason win the New York Yankees have secured in quite some time.
The defending American League Champions and 2017 pennant-favorites Cleveland Indians were just one win away from eliminating the Baby Bombers in the American League Division Series but the resilient squad held their own with their backs up against the wall.
Led by seven shutout innings from Masahiro Tanaka, Aaron Judge‘s home run robbery, a solo bomb from Greg Bird and a lights-out relief performance by Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees lived to see another day by a score of 1-0.
With that win, 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 started with a Game 3 at Oakland which featured seven shutout innings from Mike Mussina, an epic flip play by Derek Jeter, a solo bomb by Jorge Posada and a lights-out relief performance by Mariano Rivera en route to a 1-0 win.
Why is that Game 3 in Oakland such a coincidence? It was the last time the Yankees won a postseason game by a final score of 1-0 and sparked a comeback that saw them erase a 2-0 series deficit. It was also their sixth 1-0 postseason win and just their second at home (also 1949 World Series Game 1 vs. Brooklyn).
Game 4 tomorrow in the Bronx. pic.twitter.com/PpRANQAFrm
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 9, 2017
Does this mean they’re destined to repeat their 2001 fate and come all the way back? Not necessarily, but it’s a reminder that Yogi Berra‘s most famous “Yogiism” is undeniably true: it ain’t over ’till it’s over.
Cleveland still has the upper hand with a 2-1 advantage and are the clear-cut favorites to win the American League, but the Yankees have shown that they are certainly human. Game 2 could have gone their way if it weren’t for a questionable managerial decision and bullpen collapse. In Game 3, Tanaka silenced potent Indians’ lineup and gave his squad some much-needed hope.
For Game 4, ace Luis Severino get the start and although the 23-year-old turned in a dud in the Wild Card game last Tuesday, manager Joe Girardi should still be confident with the third-best pitcher in the league.
If the Yankees’ ace can build on Tanaka’s performance, New York will have their second date of the postseason with Corey Kluber in Game 5 at Progressive Field. No one should bank on how bad the AL Cy Young-favorite was in Game 2. Yet, 2.2 innings of six-run ball including two long balls give the naive Baby Bombers some confidence heading into their second do-or-die postseason game.
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It’s crystal clear that the Wild Card winners have the firepower to go head-to-head with the Indians. Whether they can overcome a two-game deficit is a question that will be answered this week and if they pull it off, it certainly won’t be the first time.