Luis Severino got redemption for his wild card clunker by pitching seven strong innings as the Yankees evened up the series, two games apiece, with a 7-3 win over Cleveland Monday night.
The series will have a do-or-die, deciding Game 5 on Wednesday night. In a bit of a surprise, it will be CC going for the Yanks, and NOT Sonny Gray. Do-or-die game, all hands on deck.
The winner will face Houston in the ALCS. Houston eliminated Boston in Game 4 Monday.
The Yanks got four in the fourth. Castro reached on an error and moved up on a PB, then Todd Frazier’s double off the foul line deep in left made it 1-0. Hicks singled to make it 2-0 and Gardner singled. Gardner stole second. Judge, with his only hit of the series so far, doubled in two. (Should Judge, with only one hit and many strikeouts, be moved out of the #2 slot?)
A walk, double and walk loaded the bases in the third with one out. After a force at home, Gardner reached on an error that made it 5-0.
Severino faltered, giving up a two-run HR in the fourth, and a solo HR in the fifth. The Indians had cut the lead to 5-3.
The Yankees got one right back in the bottom of the fifth. Todd Frazier reached second on on error (Cleveland made 4 on the night) and moved to third on a Hicks’ groundout. Gardner hit a SF to bring him in. It was a risky send, since the flyball wasn’t deep, but they challenged Kipnis, a converted infielder, and the risk paid off.
Sanchez homered in the sixth to make it 7-3.
Betances came in in the eighth and was horrible, walking both batters and he wasn’t close to the strike zone.
Kahnle came in and was brilliant, blowing Cleveland away.
So Robertson and Chapman were saved for Game 5. Don’t forget about Warren and Green, either.
Severino (Winner) 7 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 W, 9 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Betances 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 0 K.
Kahnle (Save) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 5 K.
Gardner 2 hits, RBI.
Judge 2 RBI. Struck out 4x.
Headley 0 for 4, 3 K. The Yanks have gotten nothing from him or Ellsbury at DH this series. You wonder who DHs Game 5 vs. Kluber. Even though Holliday is a righty batter, do you go back to him? What about Judge’s struggles? Do you drop Judge?
There will be interesting decisions made. Both before and during the game, especially with bullpen pecking order.
Besides Houston eliminating Boston, the Dodgers swept Arizona, so they are in the NLCS. In the other NLCS game, the Cubs, despite being no-hit for 6 1/3 innings, won 2-1 over Washington to take a two games to one lead in that series.