Greg Bird broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run, Masahiro Tanaka threw seven scoreless innings and the New York Yankees avoided elimination on Sunday with a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 ALDS at Yankee Stadium. >> Read more
Bird led off the bottom of the seventh inning by hitting Andrew Miller's 1-1 fastball 396 feet to right field to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead after Tanaka (1-0) limited the Indians to just three hits in seven innings.
Aroldis Chapman recorded a five-out save and pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the ninth inning by striking out Jay Bruce and getting Carlos Santana to fly out to center field to end the game on his 34th pitch of the night.
Aaron Judge saved Tanaka's scoreless gem by robbing Francisco Lindor of a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning. With one out and a runner on base, Lindor lined a Tanaka splitter to the warning track, where Judge leapt at the fence and caught it for the second out of the inning. Tanaka ended the inning by getting Jason Kipnis to fly out to center.
Tanaka struck out seven batters and induced two double plays. He only allowed one batter past second base when Kipnis hit a one-out triple in the fourth inning, but Tanaka struck out Jose Ramirez and Bruce to leave him stranded.
Manager Joe Girardi brought in David Robertson for the eighth, but then called upon Chapman for the five-out save after Robertson issued a one-out walk to Michael Brantley. Chapman struck out Yan Gomes and Giovanny Urshela to end the inning.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco allowed three hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, getting pulled in favor of Miller (0-1) after he loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth. Miller came in and got Starlin Castro to pop out to short.
Three questions marks at varying points this season carried the Yankees to a Game 4 appointment.
Tanaka pitched in the biggest game of his Yankees career and was spectacular. He gave the Yankees everything he needed to and maybe more than even a confident Girardi may have hoped from the right-hander.
There were times this season that Tanaka was well off his game and we wondered what exactly was happening with him. He turned it around in the second half, but mixed in a clunker here and there, marking him as an inconsistent option. But with the season on the line, Tanaka buckled down and put the team on his back.
Similarly, it's really too bad the Yankees did not have a healthy Bird during most of the regular season. It is easy to see why many believe he has the best swing on the club. Bird finished the season on a tear and now has two home runs in the division series, but no homer he has ever hit was as big as the one that broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning.
Chapman was a mess at one point this season, which prompted his removal from his closer role. Now he looks like the man the Yankees paid $86 million. Chapman was called upon for five outs and just brought straight cheese, striking out four batters, capping a must-win for the Yankees.
The Yankees and Indians will play Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday at 7:08 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium. Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees, while Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19 ERA) pitches for the Indians for the second time this series after throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 1 on Thursday.