The Yanks will have four days off before Game 1 of the ALCS begins on Saturday. While they have swept the Twins, all of the other series are going the distance.
The NLDS’s will wrap up today. St. Louis at Atlanta, Game 5 at 5 PM Eastern, and Washington at the LA Dodgers at 8:30.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay forced a Game 5 in Houston 7 PM Thursday night by beating the Astros and Justin Verlander 4-1 last night. The Rays scored three in the first inning. Tommy Pham (3 hits) homered in the first for the Rays, and Willie Adames homered later. Avisail Garcia had four hits. Tampa Bay used an “opener” and went through six pitchers in the win.
Gleyber Torres reminds me of Derek Jeter, and in a good way. Derek hit for a higher average and stole more bases, while Gleyber has more power. But both at a young age show and showed an incredible amount of maturity and poise. You can see Torres becoming, like Jeter was, a long-time Yankee star, and maybe future captain and Hall-of-Famer. Hopefully his career follows the same great path Jeter’s did.
If the Yanks have to play Houston in the next round, it’ll be difficult ot beat them, but the Yanks did beat a trio of great pitchers in 1996 and 1999 when they beat the Braves’ HOF trio of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. But could this Astro trio of Verlander, Cole and Greinke be even better? Let’s see.
2019 Astro trio. Combined record (inc. Greinke’s overall record, time w/AZ this year)
59-16, Combined ERA+ 518
1996 Braves: 54-29, Combined ERA+ 458
1999 Braves: 44-28, Combined ERA+ 376.
It does look like, should Houston win Game 5, that the Yanks of 2019 may have a tougher battle.
But Houston’s overall team ERA of 3.66 was 2nd in the AL…. to Tampa Bay’s. Despite its unconventional use of “openers”, the Rays’ team ERA was 3.65, barely better than Houston’s.