The Yankees once again find themselves in a 2-0 hole, but there is light at the end of this tunnel.
The New York Yankees have once again dug themselves a hole in the ALCS and now they have to find their way out of it. After back-to-back 2-1 losses in Games 1 and 2 the Yankees head back to the Bronx with one thing on their mind: Just win a game.
That’s what manager Joe Girardi asked of them when they came back home after falling down 2-0 to Cleveland and blowing Game 2 of the ALDS. It almost feels like the same scenario in the ALCS. The Yankees fought hard and to the end in Game 2 against the Houston Astros. They fell short on a tough play for Gary Sanchez, but a play that he feels he should have made either way.
With as hard as the Yankees have played through the first two games of the ALCS there is definitely cause for optimism, and there are a few reasons why they can come back from another 2-0 deficit.
3. CC Sabathia will start Game 3.
There’s something to be said about the amount of faith Joe Girardi and the rest of the Yankees have in their veteran. Sabathia was on the mound for the Game 2 implosion in the ALDS, but also the Game 5 clincher against Cleveland.
It’s been mentioned before how good Sabathia has been for the Yankees following a loss. Including the postseason, he’s 9-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 12 starts, which is just what the doctor ordered. Game 3 isn’t a winner-take-all scenario, but the Yankees’ backs are against the wall right now and Sabathia is one of only four pitchers with 9 or more strikeouts in a winner-take-all scenario in his career.
The Yankees haven’t asked much of Sabathia this postseason other than giving them 5-plus innings when he starts, and he’s done just that. He went 5 1/3 innings during Game 2, and while he only lasted 4 1/3 in Game 5, he did strike out nine guys and put the Yankees in a position to win that game.
There is no scenario where Sabathia doesn’t give you 110 percent, because it’s just not in his nature. And while he had better road splits than at home during the regular season, Sabathia finished the regular season strong at home. In his final three starts (all at home) he finished 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA and averaged close to six innings per start during those three games.
The Yankees have a well-rested bullpen between the minimal use of guys in Games 1 and 2 and the travel day. So the Yankees will only ask Sabathia to do what he’s done all season, and that’s to hand this game to the bullpen with the game within reach. He does that and he’s done his job.