Yanks pick up Girardi, get fresh start in 1st ALCS since '12

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The Cleveland Indians were able to string together four straight singles, and two of those hits drove in runs, which cut the New York Yankees' lead down to a run, 3-2, after the fifth inning of Game 5 of the 2017 American League Division Series at Progressive Field. Because, as we sit here this morning, a mistake that even the least excitable Yankees fans I know suggested should cost Girardi his job is now beginning to form the narrative foundation of what is shaping up to be an improbably deep postseason run. "Houston, all year long, led by [Jose] Altuve and [Carlos] Correa, those type of players have been just wonderful at putting those runs on the board and punishing mediocre pitching". He blew that advantage in Game 7 of the World Series for the Chicago Cubs last November, but recovered to earn the victory in his last game for them.

In the immediate aftermath Girardi made excuses - He didn't want to take Green out of his rhythm! Yes, the Indians surprised the baseball world with their winning streak, but it wasn't a surprise on the same level as the 2002 A's.

These baby Bronx Bombers became the 10th team to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-five playoff series.

New York got it started by posting this picture of sometimes-Indians-fan, sometimes-Yankees-fan LeBron James in a Yankees hat.

He also noted that what happened in the remainder of the series would "determine the severity" of his blunder.

"These are things that happen in your life", Ramirez said through an interpreter after the loss. "But I don't - I mean, you can't foresee him (Gardner) having fouled that many balls off", Francona said. "We all put our best effort out there, but the Yankees were the ones who had success". Sabathia, Luis Severino and Tanaka combined to give up seven runs in 23 ²/₃ innings before handing the ball over to a bullpen that dominated the final three games of the series.

"It's a hell of a lot more fun to be in it than to be sitting on the side", Sabathia said between games.

Any way you look at it, the numbers are mind-boggling.

Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300.

"Sometimes you don't swing the bat".

Everything was set up for the Indians: Kluber on the mound, Game 5 at home, sensational setup man Andrew Miller rested. It's sounds eerily similar to what's said in the Swannie House and Big Tree Inn. "We're going to keep doing that". The Yankees expected much better of Severino in that game - he was an All-Star after going 0-8 as a starter last season - but the relievers overcame his failure. After overcoming strikeout issues to set a rookie record for home runs during the regular season, Judge has come up almost entirely empty in October.

Rarely do the best teams during the regular season win the world championship.

They had a hockey franchise, once, that existed like a butterfly.

Keuchel, who ended the Yankees' previous postseason experience in the 2015 wild-card game, will start Game 1 after Verlander closed out the Red Sox in the ALDS.

Kluber was one of baseball's most consistent pitchers all season, winning 18 games and leading the AL with a 2.25 ERA. Another chapter in their history was certain to be written Wednesday with the Indians still searching for the perfect ending.