After the Yankees split Saturday and Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, New York returns home to Yankee Stadium on Tuesday at 4:08 p.m. for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros. The Yankees host Games 3, 4 and 5 of the ALCS on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Sunday's Game 2 of the ALCS alone made the series live up to the hype. After the Yankees dominated Saturday's 7-0 win to grab Game 1, the Astros got New York back in Game 2 with an 11th-inning leadoff home run by SS Carlos Correa against LHP J.A. Happ. Correa starred for the Astros at the plate and in the field, highlighted by his sixth-inning throw home when he caught 1B DJ LeMahieu rounding third base by three steps.
After the Yankees pounded RHP Zack Greinke and the Astros for 13 hits (three home runs) while RHP Masahiro Tanaka fired 6.0 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball in Game 1, the tide turned during Game 2. Behind two runs on five hits and seven strikeouts to two walks by RHP Justin Verlander, the Astros ultimately limited the Yankees, who scratched one hit off the bullpen. LeMahieu and RF Aaron Judge, whose two-run home run in the fourth inning was the Yankees' lone offensive output, joined Brett Gardner as the only two-time baserunners throughout the extra-inning game.
The latest lineup bumps Gardner into the three spot behind Judge while Torres slides back to five hole after DH Edwin Encarnacion. Meanwhile, C Gary Sanchez -- who went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in Game 2 -- drops one split to seventh. Gardner goes to LF while CF Aaron Hicks enters the lineup at ninth.
|DJ LeMahieu, 1B||George Springer, CF|
|Aaron Judge, RF||Jose Altuve, 2B|
|Brett Gardner, LF||Michael Brantley, LF|
|Edwin Encarnacion, DH||Alex Bregman, 3B|
|Gleyber Torres, 2B||Yuli Gurriel, 1B|
|Didi Gregorius, SS||Yordan Alvarez, DH|
|Gary Sanchez, C||Carlos Correa, SS|
|Gio Urshela, 3B||Josh Reddick, RF|
|Aaron Hicks, CF||Martin Maldonado, C|
Who is starting for the Yankees?
Back at the right time, RHP Luis Severino (1-1, 1.50 ERA) has seemingly gotten better with each start since he made his 2019 debut in Sept. 17's 8-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
Severino, who sat out majority of the regular season with injuries to his shoulder and lat, returned when he was needed and flashed despite subsequent short starts -- Sept. 22's 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays and Sept. 28's 9-4 loss to the Texas Rangers -- of 5.0 innings or less.
Severino's three-game build down the stretch of September carried into the postseason, though, with the Yankees' ALDS-clinching victory against the Twins at Target Field in Minnesota last Monday. Despite 4.0 innings, Severino did not allow a run on four hits and fired four strikeouts to two walks among 83 pitches (52 strikes). After manager Aaron Boone dug deep into the Yankees' bullpen Tuesday, will the leash be longer for Severino against the Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS?
Who is starting for the Astros?
No one has looked and performed with more dominance throughout the spring, summer and fall than RHP Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA). Undefeated since May 22's 9-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Cole's MLB-best 326 strikeouts on the regular season carried into the Astros' ALDS win over the Tampa Bay Rays in five games.
On the mound to start Games 2 and 5, 3-1 and 6-1 home victories, Cole went 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA in 15.2 innings, striking out 25 while walking three and giving up one run -- a solo home run -- on six hits. Cole's only start against the Yankees of the 2019 campaign came April 9, the Astros' 6-3 home win, with three runs on four hits and six strikeouts to three walks in 7.0 innings.
The performance marked Cole's first victory of the season, following two straight losses to the Rays (4-2, March 29) and Rangers (4-0, April 3).
The second of three ALCS games from Yankee Stadium in New York, Game 4 resumes action Wednesday at 8:08 p.m. Both teams are expected to throw openers.
While the Astros are set to start out with RHP Joe Urquidy (2-1, 3.95 ERA), the Yankees have options, dependent on how Game 3 goes.
Throughout the course of the regular season, the Yankees have elected to go with RHP Chad Green (4-4, 4.17 ERA), who was among nine arms used in Game 2 at Houston's Minute Maid Park.In 2.0 innings of relief after LHP James Paxton started 2.1 innings, Green was perfect and recorded two strikeouts along the way.