After winning three straight in the Bronx, the New York Yankees are taking a 3-2 series lead back to Houston. Luis Severino will pitch Game 6 of the ALCS with a chance to clinch the American League pennant.
In Game 6 Friday night in Houston, New York Yankees ace Luis Severino will have the opportunity to lead the Yankees to the World Series with a win against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros. Early in Game 2 last Saturday, Severino matched Verlander pitch for pitch, batter for batter, until Severino was precautiously taken out after four innings by manager Joe Girardi after fielding a comebacker off his left wrist from Yuli Gurriel.
Unable to convince his manager he was able to continue, Sevy was removed for Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle pitched well despite the Yankees losing 2-1 in a heartbreaker. Aroldis Chapman surrendered a walk-off that was manufactured by MVP candidate Jose Altuve and All-Star Carlos Correa.
Despite the scare, Severino has been cleared to pitch Friday night and is in position to lead his team to the World Series. It would be the 41st overall appearance for the New York Yankees as an organization. A true gamer, Severino was disappointed to be pulled early, voicing his frustration after Game 2, stating, “I didn’t agree with that. I wanted to go over there and pitch,” Severino said. “I was feeling good. Even though I didn’t strike out anybody, I was feeling good. I was getting outs.”
Fortunately for the 23-year-old ace, his team once again has overcome an 0-2 deficit and finds themselves one win away from overcoming the odds. The New York Yankees have a chance of beating another team that was expected to appear in the Fall Classic.
Severino is ready for the challenge. In the regular season, Severino put himself in the conversation of American League Cy Young candidates by going 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA over 198 innings pitched.
Sevy is a true workhorse in every sense of the word and the Yankees now find themselves in the driver’s seat heading back to Houston with the confidence that they can close it out with their best pitcher on the mound.
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The Astros were the best offensive team in the majors, averaging over five runs per game but have fallen off when they’ve needed those runs the most. Yankees pitchers have been able to completely shut down the Astros lineup, dominating the league’s best offense spearheaded by Altuve and Correa, allowing just 23 hits over 45 innings.
Truthfully, the Yankees should be beating themselves up. A few bonehead plays in Game 1 and Game 2 may have cost them a win or two in Houston. However, a 3-2 series lead going into Game 6 provides reassurance that this team has what it takes to knock off yet another juggernaut in their way.
Thanks to the reemergence of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Baby Bombers are in the driver’s seat and have full control over their fate. Between now and Friday night, expect veterans and World Series champions CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner, and David Robertson to reiterate the opportunity that’s at hand. The key will be to continue to implement what’s gotten them the lead in this series: great pitching, defense, smart base running, and clutch hitting.
If the New York Yankees hitters can redeem themselves against Verlander like they did against Dallas Keuchel, then there’s no reason why they can’t punch their ticket to Chicago or Los Angeles next Tuesday.