The 2017 New York Yankees have had little trouble proving they belong in the postseason so far this October. After ace Luis Severino faltered in the Wild Card game, only recording one out and allowing 3 runs, it was time for him to take the hill in Game 4, AKA "Sevy's Redemption." His outing, however, would follow 2 pivotal games that got the Yankees to this critical point.
In Game 1 the Yankees faced a dominant, unhittable, Trevor Bauer. The league leading home run hitting Bronx Bombers were shut down the entire night, losing a lopsided 4-0 battle. There wasn't much you were going to do that night, so it wasn't as "pivotal" as the following two games. With arguably the best pitcher in the AL, Corey Kluber, set to go in Game 2, Yankee fans weren't feeling all that confident about their team's fate in the ALDS. Fast forward to the 6th inning of Game 2. The Yankees manage to knock Kluber out early, obtain an 8-3 lead, and turn the ball over to Chad Green with 1 out and 1 on. What more could you expect from this team? The rebuilding Yankees were about to steal a game from the best team in the AL before coming back to the Bronx in hopes to close out the series. With two men on, two out, and two strikes, Chad Green threw an inside pitch to Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall, allegedly hitting him in the hand. Much to the surprise of Chisenhall himself, he was awarded the free bag, all the while Gary Sanchez is screaming to his manager to review the call. With video evidence, it was clear that the ball did not hit Chisenhall's hand, but the knob of his bat, and reflecting into Sanchez's glove for the final out of the inning. Ignoring his catcher's cry for a challenge, Joe Girardi, for reasons we will never comprehend, decided not to challenge the play. Francisco Lindor stepped up with the bases full of Indians, and with one swing of the bat put Joe Girardi's future in jeopardy.
The Yankees, or should I say Girardi, lost a back breaking Game 2 in extra innings. They had a 5 run lead in a game where the probable Cy Young award winning pitcher was on the mound, and they couldn't hold it down. If Joe were to challenge that call, the Yankees would be setup to go to their big arms for the 7th, 8th and 9th innings up 8 to 3. But, he didn't. And it was up to the New York Yankees to show the world how they felt about their manager. They could either lay down and die, or they could go out and pick Girardi back up, win two games in the Bronx, and head back to Cleveland for a Game 5.
Masahiro Tanaka was utterly brilliant in Game 3. The Yankees did what they needed to do, and only needed one run (a solo shot off the bat of Greg Bird) to do so. It was time to give the ball back to their 23 year old ace and allow him the chance to redeem himself in front of the New York crowd. And redeem himself he did. Severino threw 7 complete innings of 3 run ball, and the Yankees took Game 4 with authority, 7-3. If the Yankees two wins at home could translate into words, they would read:
"He is our manager. He always has our backs and now we will show him, and the rest of the world, that we have his. We will play our guts out and leave everything out on the field for him. We WILL force a Game 5."
The New York Yankees are 27 outs away from erasing one of the worst managerial blunders you will ever see. That says more than words ever can, or ever will. Who better to take the mound than the guy who carried your team to a World Series victory in 2009? Who better to take the mound than the guy who was the first draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1998? It's time for his career to come full circle. It's time for CC Sabathia to prove to the world that he still has what it takes to carry his team in the postseason.
-Chris Jr. (@ChrisJr_NYYST)
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