HOUSTON – Though the Astros lost Saturday night, the good news is that this ALCS is a best-of-seven so don't panic because there's still a lot of baseball left to be played between the Astros and Yankees.
Two heavyweights went head to head at Minute Maid Park Saturday night and New York came away as the winner and now lead the series 1-0.
What we learned
Astros' offense was surprisingly quiet
The Astros managed just three hits all night. They only got one against Masahiro Tanaka who was outstanding and that came from Kyle Tucker. The Astros got little going all night. The play of the game was in the fifth inning when Yordan Alvarez ripped a liner to right that was caught by Aaron Judge who then doubled off Alex Bregman to kill what little momentum the Astros had.
Tanaka was terrific
More on this crafty righthander who continued his playoff success against the Astros. Remember during the 2017 ALCS? Tanaka had two great starts against the Astros and gave up only two runs. Saturday night, Tanaka was efficient throwing just 68 pitches which were exactly what Yankees Manager Aaron Boone was hoping for. His bullpen is now in great shape entering Game 2. Tanaka moved the ball well and worked his fast and curve balls most of the night with the changeup and slider occasionally against the Astros hitter.
Play of the night
The best play of the night had to be that fifth inning line drive from Yordan Alvarez that was caught by Aaron Judge who then fired to first base to double up Alex Bregman. MOMENTUM KILLER!
Yankees co-MVP of the night
Tanaka is 1A and right behind him is Gleyber Torres. What a great night he had at the plate! Torres set the table with his fourth inning RBI double that made it 1-0. Then he added the home run in the sixth inning and more later in the game to finish with five RBI.
Verlander is ready
After Saturday's Game 1 loss, it's on to the next one. Justin Verlander gets the ball in game two tonight. He will be on full rest unlike his last start in Game 4 of the ALDS when he pitched on just three days rest. Verlander spoke Saturday at Minute Maid Park and was in good spirits. He's a "Big Game guy" and will bring it Sunday night to help get the ALCS even at 1-1 going back to New York.