New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees didn’t hear no bell. James Paxton’s gutsy performance keeps New York’s World Series hopes alive.

  • New York Yankees 4 (2-3)
  • Houston Astros 1 (3-2)
  • ALCS, Game 5, Final, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

The New York Yankees live to fight another day. There’s still plenty of work to do with two games in Houston, but Game 5 will give the Yankees a little bit of confidence for the trip. After all, they finally cracked the code that is Justin Verlander.

All of the action in Game 5 came early and once again, James Paxton surrendered a run in the first inning. The opening frame has been the lefty’s kryptonite all season, but he was able to limit the damage to one run on a wild pitch.

It felt like the Yankees’ bad luck would continue, but DJ LeMahieu wasn’t hearing any of it.

LeMahieu woke up the bats behind him with the leadoff home run. Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres followed him up with hits, but the Yankees have had trouble hitting with runners in scoring position this season.

However, Aaron Hicks clearly didn’t receive that memo. In true Hicks-ian fashion, the patient switch-hitter worked his way back from an 0-2 hole to a full count. Verlander would regret not putting him away earlier.

After the Astros and Yankees put up five runs in the first six outs, they were both held scoreless for the rest of the game.

Verlander was nearly unhittable from that point forward. He only allowed one more hit, a soft single to Didi Gregorius.

The problem for Astros fans? Paxton was just as good. The Yankees brought in the lefty hurler for moments like these and boy did he deliver. He tallied nine strikeouts in six innings and although he surrendered a few baserunners here and there, he put out any necessary fires.

In a pivotal moment late, manager Aaron Boone made his familiar walk to the mound. For a moment, it looked like he was ready to lift Paxton after 5.2 innings.

But Paxton pushed Boone to let him go for one more out and the manager obliged. It nearly ended in disaster, but the wind must have been blowing in.

It’s onto Houston for Game 6. The Yankees will have to face Gerrit Cole, but it’s likely that the Astros will go with a bullpen game on Saturday and save Cole to go on regular rest in Game 7.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.