In a game that involved many ups and downs, the New York Yankees battled back and beat the Indians in game two to move onto the ALDS against the Rays.
The New York Yankees entered game two of the inaugural Wild Card Series fresh off a 12-3 win after knocking the likely 2020 AL Cy Young out of the game in 4.2 innings after scoring seven.
Following two long rain delays in game two, the Yankees went down early after Masahiro Tanaka allowed four earned runs, forcing the Yankees to play from behind early. Tanaka would later be pulled in the fifth inning after allowing six earned runs, three walks, and five hits.
However, four of those runs, four hits, and one of those walks were given up in the first inning. Nonetheless, the Yankees were forced to play behind and managed to fight back in a large way, first with Giancarlo Stanton’s second home run in as many nights as he sent one 420 feet into the empty right-field bleachers in the second inning.
After Stanton, it was Gio Urshela who helped the Yankees fight back as he hit a towering 432-foot grand slam bringing in Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit, and Giancarlo Stanton to put the Yankees up 5-4 in the fourth.
Fast forward to the ninth and the Yankees were down once again, this time with Brad Hand on the mound hoping to close the game out as the Indians were up 9-8. Stanton drew a walk and was replaced with Mike Tauchman who was moved over to second with yet another Gio Urshela hit.
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Following Urshela, Torres reached first on a Brad Hand error, and the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs, down one in the ninth. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Gardner struck out, but Gary Sanchez then hit a sacrifice fly to center bringing in Mike Tauchman and tying the game, and after him, it was DJ LeMahieu (aka The Machine) who did what he does best and brought in Gio Urshela to put the Yankees up 10-9 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Aroldis Chapman closed it out, giving the Yankees the win and sending the Indians home following a 2-0 sweep in the Wild Card Round.
Now, the Yankees will be tasked with taking on the Tampa Bay Rays who are the AL’s top seed, and a team the Yankees went 2-8 against in 2020. Granted, many of those losses were with a less than healthy Yankees team, but nonetheless, the Yankees will have their hands full in the ALDS.
Game one of the ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, presumably with Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees, and Blake Snell for the Rays in the first of a best-of-five series.