Feb 25, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (81) doubles during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 25, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (81) doubles during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees optioned INF Gleyber Torres and C Kyle Higashioka to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.

The moves were made following the Yankees' game against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday afternoon.

Higashioka hit had five hits in 15 at-bats for the Yankees during spring training. He played in nine games for the big-league squad during the regular season last year, when he failed to pick up a hit in 18 at-bats. 

Torres hit .160 during spring training this year, tallying four hits and three runs in 25 at-bats. In 55 games last season between Double-A Trentin and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, Torres hit .287/.383/.480 along with seven homers and 34 RBIs.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Kyle Higashioka
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) strikes out off a pitch by Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) strikes out off a pitch by Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Your mission, Yankees, should you choose to accept it, is now to win three straight games or at best be doomed to facing Gerrit Cole in Game 7, which is pretty much a death sentence these days. 

Ok, choose isn't exactly the right word, since the Astros are going to have plenty to say about the Yankees getting on any type of roll in this ALCS, and obviously Justin Verlander would be no picnic in Game 6 as well. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sanchez's receiving
 
In the seventh, Gary Sanchez struggled to receive two consecutive pitches, costing the Yankees a run -- though it was questionable whether he should have been able to handle the second one.
 
The first, a sinker from Zack Britton with a runner on third, hit umpire Kerwin Danley, preventing the runner from scoring. The second, another sinker was ruled a wild pitch, but it was one that Sanchez might have stopped. This time, the run scored.
 
"Sanchez needs a good catching coach," tweeted former Yankees pitcher David Wells. "Wow."
 
Another former pitcher texted to disagree.
 
"I don't [think he should have caught it]," the pitcher said. "It was a nasty sinker in the dirt."
 
Perhaps Sanchez could have at least moved more quickly in an attempt to stop a tough pitch.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Zack Britton, Andy Martino
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Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) pitches during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) pitches during the seventh inning in game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Throughout the regular season, the Yankees bullpen was one of the team's calling cards. Even at times when the starting pitching struggles, the Yankees could seemingly always rely on the backend of their bullpen. 

One of the key cogs of that backend has been Adam Ottavino, who pitched to a 1.90 ERA in 73 regular season appearances.

But the postseason, specifically the ALCS, has been a different story for the right-hander. 

After allowing the game-tying home run to George Springer in the fifth inning of Game 2, Ottavino struggled again in Tuesday's Game 3 loss.

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Boone on Game 3 loss 00:01:51
Luis Severino's outing and the lack of offense in Gm3 loss to the Astros

In a crucial Game 3 of a tied series with the Astros, the Yankees sent Luis Severino to the mound to start the first of three games at Yankee Stadium. Despite throwing a scoreless set of innings in his last time out, he was unable to match that performance Tuesday afternoon.

Severino exited Game 3 Tuesday earlier than he or Aaron Boone would've liked, heading back to the dugout after 4.1 innings that saw him allow five hits on 97 pitches, with six strikeouts and three walks. Severino allowed two home runs in the first two innings, including one to Jose Altuve on just the third pitch of the game.

When asked after the game how hard it was to get back on track after the rough start, Severino said "it was tough."

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Astros take 2-1 lead in ALCS 00:01:39
Gregorius, Judge, Gardner, Hicks, Cole and Hinch on Cole shutting down Yankees offense

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell to the Astros 4-1 at Yankee Stadium, and now trail 2-1 in the ALCS. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) The Yankees' task just got a whole lot tougher, and not just because of the math. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, John Harper
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Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Mike Tauchman (39) walks off the field after an apparent injury during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Mike Tauchman (39) walks off the field after an apparent injury during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

In the wake of Giancarlo Stanton's strained quad and possible insertion onto the IL, the Yankees may have another option to go to as they battle the Astros in the ALCS.

It was reported by Joel Sherman of the NY Post Tuesday that Mike Tauchman may be available to return from a left calf injury for the Yankees if they decide to downgrade Stanton's availability. Sherman spoke with Yankees GM Brain Cashman prior to Game 3: "He is healthy and eligible," Cashman said. "That is why he has been down in Tampa doing all his stuff."

This is a big development for a New York squad that has been riddled with injuries all season, and that had just gotten Aaron Hicks back from injury just in time for the ALCS as well.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

After the Yankees split Saturday and Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, New York returns home Tuesday to the Bronx at 4:04 p.m. from Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros.

Yankees notes

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.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )
Giancarlo Stanton (Troy Taormina )

Giancarlo Stanton remained out of the Yankees' lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday after missing Sunday's Game 2 due to a quad injury, with manager Aaron Boone updating Stanton's clouded status before the game.

Before reaching the podium for his pregame press conference, Boone told reporters including Lindsey Adler of The Athletic that Stanton would "probably" be on the IL if it was the regular season.

Talking before the game about his injury, Stanton said he can hit but that playing the outfield is "the biggest question."

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Masahiro Tanaka (Troy Taormina )
Masahiro Tanaka (Troy Taormina )

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As things currently stand, the Yankees and Astros are both planning to have bullpen games on Wednesday in Game 4 of the ALCS. It looks like that game is in serious jeopardy of getting postponed, though, potentially opening the door for big rotation changes for both teams.

According to Accuweather, the forecast in the Bronx -- when the Yanks and Astros are set for first pitch at 8:08 p.m. on Wednesday -- calls for pretty steady rain between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday. 

If Game 4 is postponed, it will be pushed to Thursday at Yankee Stadium, followed by Game 5 on Friday (also at Yankee Stadium) and Game 6 (if necessary) on Saturday in Houston. Game 7 would take place on Sunday in Houston.

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts during the second inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts during the second inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

With the Yankees and Astros set to play another three games against each other at Yankee Stadium, it's hard not to look at comparisons between this series and the one that occurred two years ago.

In the 2017 ALCS, the home team won every game that was played, and unfortunately for the Yankees, the Astros had home field advantage for that series--just like they do again for this one.

But this time around, the Yankees return home from a two-game stint in Houston with a win already under their belt, and nearly came home with two before a-walkoff home run by Carlos Correra ended that dream. And yet, one game may be all the Yankees need now that they're back in New York.

Tags: Luis Severino
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Alex Rodriguez at Mets spring training. (Matthew Cerrone/SNY)
Alex Rodriguez at Mets spring training. (Matthew Cerrone/SNY)

ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" reportedly could have changes coming on the horizon.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN is considering scrapping its current broadcast crew as it examines other potential personalities in the booth for MLB's 2020 season.

While Alex Rodriguez is safe no matter what with one more year left on his contract, he could have new teammates alongside him when the program returns next spring.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

The Yankees pulled off a bit of a Game 1 shocker against the Astros in opening game of the ALCS, topping the series favorites 7-0 on the road. The bats came to play, but RHP Masahiro Tanaka did, too. 

Tanaka continued his postseason dominance. His ERA in seven career playoff starts is now 1.32. 

Over six shutout innings, Tanaka allowed only two runners and one hit. But after just 68 pitches, the Yankees opted for the bullpen. 

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka
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Harper on ALCS 00:01:38
SNY's John Harper looks back at the Yankees loss in Gm2 of the ALCS and looks ahead as the series shifts to Yankee Stadium for Gm 3

The Yankees already have a tentative pitching plan in place for Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday, a day before Tuesday's Game 3. 

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Monday that Wednesday is going to be a "bullpen day," adding that LHP J.A. Happ could play a role in the festivities as well, following his Game 2 mishap. 

"Obviously kind of depends a lot on what happens tomorrow. J-Happ could very much be in the mix," Boone said. "As well as... I picture our bullpen being unleashed on that day."

Tags: Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino
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General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)
General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

Here are the key 2019 MLB offseason dates, and how they impact the Yankees...


Day after World Series ends: Free agency begins

Before factoring in raises for arbitration, the Yankees already have a shade over $164 million committed to their payroll for 2020. But there is still room to spend, and there will be plenty of big names out there. 

Among the biggest names expected to hit the free agent market: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Marcell Ozuna, and Will Smith

The Yankees' notable free agents include Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Brett Gardner.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Danny Abriano
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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees couldn't come away with another road victory against the Astros on Sunday night, falling 3-2 in extras to tie the series up. Unlike their seven-run splurge in Game 1, Justin Verlander calmed the Yanks' bats down a bit with his stellar arsenal on the mound, allowing only the two-run homer to Aaron Judge that accounted for the team's only runs in the contest. 

Now the ALCS heads to the Bronx for the first time, which should work in the Yankees' favor right? Not necessarily with Gerrit Cole on the mound. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Scott Thompson
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Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees have up to 12 arbitration-eligible players this offseason, with James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez the biggest names in that group. 

Once a player is offered arbitration, the team and that player's agent have until a set date -- usually at some point in February -- to come to terms on a new contract. If that doesn't happen, both sides submit salary proposals and the player's salary is determined at a hearing by independent arbitrators. 

According to MLB Trade Rumors, here's what the Yankees' arbitration-eligible players are projected to make in 2020...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON -- Dellin Betances tore his Achilles in September. Domingo German is on the restricted list because of a domestic violence allegation. On this night, the Yankees missed both of those pitchers (and, of course, the baseball impact of German's situation is insignificant compared to what his alleged victim experienced).

Jonathan Loaisiaga appeared overwhelmed and unable to find the strike zone. Betances would have inspired much more confidence in that spot, or at least lengthened the bullpen by having another high-leverage guy and not ever needing Loaisiga. The left-handed and homer-prone J.A. Happ in the game as the bulk guy in extra innings, was a far less favorable matchup against the Astros' righty-heavy lineup than the righty German would have been.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Game 2 of the ALCS made every pitch matter Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, but perhaps no play swung the momentum more than what happened midway through the sixth inning.

With two on and two out as DJ LeMahieu led off second and Gleyber Torres from fits, Brett Gardner's sharp ground ball up the middle initially short hopped off Jose Altuve at second base and into the hole, but Carlos Correa came over from shortstop in time.

While Torres stayed put on second, LeMahieu wheeled around after getting waved by third-base coach Phil Nevin and booked for home plate.

Tags: Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres
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Judge confident heading to Bronx 00:00:55
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge was bummed the team lost Game 2 but has confidence with the series shifting to the Bronx.

Disappointment filled the locker room as the Yankees summed up Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS, but the main objective at Minute Maid Park in Houston ultimately got accomplished.

While the Yankees had the Astros on the ropes and let the chance to go up 2-0 slip away, the two-game trip ended with the next three matchups back before the Yankee Stadium crowd in New York, starting Tuesday at 4:08 p.m. ET.

Despite the poor performance at the plate for the Yankees, whose only runs came on Aaron Judge's two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning, they brush off their six-hit evening with an opportunity to get Game 3 -- and possibly the series -- done in the Bronx.

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Aaron Boone pulled the plug on James Paxton.

The southpaw's start ended early Sunday after allowing one run -- Carlos Correa's one-out double to left field, scoring Alex Bregman from second base in the bottom of the second inning -- on four hits and three strikeouts to two walks in 2.1 frames, making Boone call on eight different arms out of the bullpen.

Game 2 of the ALCS ultimately ended in the bottom of the 11th inning on Correa's leadoff solo shot off J.A. Happ, who entered midway through the previous frame, but Boone backed the decision to pull Paxton early and pointed to the bullpen's overall production despite the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell 3-2 to the Astros on Saturday in Game 2 of the ALCS, evening the series at 1-1.

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1.) For all the talk about the bullpen edge the Yankees have in this series, Game 2 proved that too much of a good thing can have its consequences.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Beltran wants to be a manager 00:02:28
New York Mets manager candidate Carlos Beltran explains to SNY's Andy Martino what he brings to the table as a MLB manager

As the Mets' search for their new manager continues, one former New York star publicly expressed his desire to lead an MLB team for 2020 and beyond, but will the opportunity come in orange and blue?

Before the Yankees played Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, former 20-year veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran expressed his desire to become a manager when he caught up with SNY's Andy Martino on the field.

Beltran, who spent 2005-10 as a Met and slashed .279/.366/.499 with 134 home runs and 493 RBI in 741 games over six seasons, interviewed Thursday for the New York job and turned down chances to do the same with the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

With the Yankees down one run in the top of the fourth inning, Aaron Judge made Astros starter Justin Verlander pay.

After a leadoff walk from Verlander against DJ LeMahieu to start the frame, the righty made a mistake with Judge on an 0-1 count.

Verlander hung a slider above the belt over the plate and Judge sent the pitch into orbit, crushing a two-run home run to right-center field and putting the Yankees ahead of the Astros for a 2-1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees look to extend their series lead in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Astros on Sunday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the series after beating the Astros 7-0 in Game 1 of the ALCS. Gleyber Torres was the star of the night, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI thanks to a double and home run. Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, but injured his quad and will not start Game 2. Starter Masahiro Tanaka allowed just one hit over six innings, striking out four batters and walking just one in the win. Gio Urshela put the nail in the coffin with his solo home run in the ninth inning, he finished the game 2-for-4 from the plate.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits a solo home run against the Houston Astros in the sixth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will not start in Sunday night's Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros after injuring his quad in Saturday's Game 1.

Manager Aaron Boone spoke before Game 2, and said Stanton could pinch hit or play the field in an emergency.

"Yeah, kinda injured his quad last night," Boone said. "Hoping that it's something that with today and the off day he'll be back and play for Game 3. We'll see how these next 48 hours unfold. He would be available tonight to hit or go in an emergency situation... Didn't feel like he was good to start."

 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 8, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) is taken out of the game by manager AJ Hinch (14) during the fourth inning in game four of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)
Oct 8, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) is taken out of the game by manager AJ Hinch (14) during the fourth inning in game four of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports (Reinhold Matay)

The Yankees got the job done in Game 1, shutting out the Astros on their home field to take the first game of the ALCS, 7-0. And they could truly carry all the momentum to the Bronx if they can collect another road victory on Sunday night. 

However, they'll have to go through the Astros' ace in Justin Verlander to do so. 

Two years ago, Verlander dominated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park in his two ALCS starts. His first was in Game 2, pitching a complete game where he allowed just one run while striking out 13. Then seven scoreless innings game in Game 6 to help force a divisive Game 7 that the Yankees would ultimately lose. 

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Martino on Stanton 00:01:05
SNY's Andy Martino breaks down the changes in Giancarlo Stanton's approach at the plate in Gm 1 of the ALCS after his struggles in 2018

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The right call to remove Tanaka

HOUSTON -- Masahiro Tanaka threw 68 pitches through six innings, allowing just one hit and dominating the Houston offense. Because of that, the knee-jerk response when Adam Ottavino trotted out of the bullpen to begin the seventh might have been outrage.

But one simple fact made it the right call: Opponents have a .387 wOBA (weighted on-base average) against Tanaka the third time through the lineup this year, which was where the Astros found themselves after six.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Carlos Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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Torres, Tanaka dominate Astros 00:02:28
Gregorius, Judge, Gardner, Tanaka and Torres on taking a 1-0 lead in the ALCS

When Aaron Boone's Yankees lineup for Game 1 of the ALCS was announced earlier on Saturday, it was nearly identical to what the team rolled out in the ALDS against the Twins, with one notable exception.

Boone moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the order, hitting between Aaron Judge and Edwin Encarnacion

The impact of that move was felt immediately against the Astros, as Torres went 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in five runs in the Yankees' dominant 7-0 Game 1 win.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres
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Boone talks Game 1 win 00:01:57
Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Torres and Tanaka leading the Yankees emphatic 7-0 win in Gm 1 of the ALCS

Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant for the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, putting his team in position to take a 1-0 lead in the series with a win on the road.

The right-hander threw six near perfect innings for New York, allowing just one hit and one walk with four strikeout on 68 pitches.

"Going into the game with a plan," Tanaka said through a translator, on why he was so effective Saturday night. "...really focusing on each pitch, executing your pitches, that's kind of what it all comes down to."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees defeated the Astos 7-0 on Saturday in Game 1 of the ALCS, taking a 1-0 series lead. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) So who said the Astros have the advantage in the starting pitching in this ALCS, anyway?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 12, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting an RBI double against the Houston Astros in the fourth inning in game one of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Gleyber Torres put the Yankees on the board first in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. 

In a tight-knit game that has both Masahiro Tanaka and Zack Greinke dealing early, Torres hit an RBI double with one out in the top of the fourth inning to bring DJ LeMahieu in for the first run of the game.


 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

Aaron Judge is typically known more for his bat, but he made a great play in the field to help preserve the Yankees' ALCS Game 1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia
Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia

Both the Yankees and Astros finalized their ALCS rosters on Saturday, and both CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks will be available for the Bombers as they battle Houston for a World Series berth.

The Yankees, who went with a 12-man pitching staff in the ALDS, have opted for 13 pitchers against the Astros. Rather than have Sabathia replace a different pitcher on the staff, the team left both Tyler Wade and Luke Voit off the ALCS roster. Additionally, David Hale was designated for assignment to make room on the team's 40-man roster for Hicks, who had previously been on the 60-day injured list.


Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Yankees look to get things started on the right foot in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia are back on the ALCS roster for the Yankees, while Luke Voit and Tyler Wade were left off. ... Hicks is not in the starting lineup, while Sabathia will pitch out of the bullpen during the series. ... The Astros took four of seven games from the Yankees in the 2019 regular season, including a three-game sweep in Houston. ... The Yankees have moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the lineup after having Brett Gardner in that spot for all three games of the ALDS. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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Judge looking forward to ALCS 00:02:17
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge pinpoints added postseason experience being key to the Yankees success in this ALCS

With the stage set for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took the field at Minute Maid Park on Friday for their team workout ahead of this year's Championship Series.

And while there were no fans in the seats on Friday, the Yankees know that the Astros home-field advantage has been very real over the past few seasons, but it's nothing the team doesn't think they can' handle.

"I think our guys relish in this," said Aaron Boone. "Clearly the Astros have shown that they have a really good home-field advantage here, not only this year but even going back a few years and a lot of us are aware of how loud this place can be, but a lot of our guys will relish in that, embrace that, and hopefully find a way to have success through it all. But I don't worry about that affecting our guys and our performance."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Jun 6, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Jun 6, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

Aaron Boone said on Friday afternoon that the team had yet to finalize their ALCS roster, but there have been a couple of hints that suggest outfielder Aaron Hicks will indeed be included on the roster.

As the Yankees took the field at Minute Made Park for Friday's workout, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch noted that the group breakdown of the team's batting practice did not include Tyler Wade's name, though it did include both Hicks and Luke Voit.

George King of the New York Post also noted that Wade does not have a locker in the Yankees clubhouse in Houston.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit, Tyler Wade
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When Yankees manager Aaron Boone met with the media in Houston on Friday on the eve of the ALCS, the first order of business was announcing the the Yankees' pitching rotation.

According to Boone, the Yankees will go with Masahiro Tanaka in Game 1, James Paxton in Game 2, and Luis Severino in Game 3, and then go from there. 

"Again, I felt like it was a good decision, a tough one to be made, similar to the Division Series where I was going back and forth a lot," said Boone. "Just felt like Masa here in Game 1, that's the way I wanted to go in the end."

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Springer on Bronx atmosphere 00:01:03
Houston Astros outfielder George Springer reflects on how intense of an atmosphere Yankee Stadium is to play in.

Game 1 of the ALCS is set to begin Saturday at Yankee Stadium, and Astros outfielder George Springer knows it will be a hostile environment.

"They expect their team to win," Springer said of Yankee fans on Friday. "It's a very, very hard place to play at any time of year, let alone October. It's a crazy atmosphere."

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Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) talks to New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) at second base during a pitching change during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For months, it seemed destined to be this way, Astros versus Yankees, a trip to the World Series the prize. There were some tense moments for Houston - well, at least until the first inning of that deciding game against the Rays - but here we are:  

Astro-geddon. Cole-pocalypse. A series of Judge-ian proportions. A Bunch of "Savages" versus Baseball's Best Team.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Bregman, Cole on playing Yankees 00:01:26
Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and pitcher Gerrit Cole speak about their upcoming ALCS matchup against the New York Yankees.

The Yankees had to wait three days, but now their ALCS matchup is set.

The Astros defeated the Rays 6-1 in a winner-take-all Game 5 in Houston, securing their trip to the ALCS. Gerrit Cole was once again phenomenal on the mound, tossing eight innings while allowing just one run on two hits. The game was Cole's 11th straight outing with at least 10 strikeouts. 

The Astros jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning off of Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, and they never looked back.

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Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole
Tyler Glasnow/Gerrit Cole

The Yankees are all set to go in the ALCS. They just need an opponent. 

The Rays pulled out an upset of Justin Verlander in Game 4 in their home Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, forcing a divisive Game 5 on Thursday night at 7:07 p.m. This one, though, will be in Houston with Gerrit Cole facing off against Tyler Glasnow -- a much tougher challenge for the Rays to pull off the ultimate upset. 

Either way, who would the Yankees want to face in the Championship Series? 

Tags: Aaron Judge, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Aaron Boone/Brian Cashman (Kim Klement)
Aaron Boone/Brian Cashman (Kim Klement)

Manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees are working through all the options they can have for their 25-man roster leading up to the ALCS. They don't yet know their opponent with the Astros and Rays playing Game 5 of their ALDS on Thursday night, but the preparation begun ever since New York clinched the series sweep against the Twins on Monday night. 

But when exactly do they need to decide who will be on their roster? 

The official deadline for the Yankees to get their 25-man roster in is actual the day of the game. Boone needs to have his roster in by 10 a.m., EST on Saturday. 

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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees are probably healthier than they've been all season and they're coming off a sweep of the Twins in the AL Division Series. But Aaron Boone and the rest of the Yankee brass still face questions heading into the next round.

The big one, of course, is Astros or Rays? We'll find out Thursday night when Tampa Bay and Houston meet in a deciding Game 5.

Once that's decided, they can work in more detail on the others. Here are three roster questions facing the Yankees as they prep for the best-of-seven AL Championship Series, which begins Saturday night in either Houston or the Bronx, depending on who wins in Houston Thursday:

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade, Anthony McCarron
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Boone says Yanks are "hungry" 00:01:15
As the Yankees prepare for the ALCS, manager Aaron Boone notes how the Bombers have improved, as he says they are more "hungry" than ever.

The Yankees hit the field at Yankee Stadium on Thursday to get a workout in before heading into the ALCS. But they don't know exactly who they're going to be facing in that series just yet. 

The Astros and Rays will play their ALDS Game 5 tonight in Houston to determine who moves on and who goes home. And based off who does come away with the victory in that game could go into how manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees create their new 25-man roster for the ALCS. 

"It could factor in a little bit, definitely," Boone told the media on Thursday. "There could be a decision based on the opponent for a spot or two."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Scott Thompson
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 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

Manager Aaron Boone and the Yankees are working through all the options they can have for their 25-man roster leading up to the ALCS.

Meanwhile, the same can be said for Mike Shildt's Cardinals and Davey Martinez's Washington Nationals.

But when exactly do they need to decide who will be on their roster? 

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Oct 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of game two of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Oct 4, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) hits a single against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of game two of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Brian McCann has decided to call it a career.

Following the Braves' NLDS Game 5 13-1 blowout loss to the Cardinals, the veteran of 15 major league seasons announced his retirement from baseball.

"It's just time to go. 15 years of catching, it's sad but it's time. I knew about a month and a half ago," McCann told reporters.

"You know when you know, and it's time."

Tags: Brian McCann
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has to think about his 25-man roster yet again heading into the ALCS. The one he and his staff put together for the ALDS against the Twins worked as planned, sweeping Minnesota to get an early break before their next postseason challenge. 

The Yankees don't know their opponent just yet, with the Astros and Rays to play Game 5 on Thursday night. But one of the big decisions for Boone will be whether or not he goes with the same rotation configuration as he did in the last series. 

After long thought, it was James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino in that order. During a conference call with the media on Wednesday, Boone was asked if he's sticking with that rotation, and he revealed he will be looking at all options yet again. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Joe Girardi
Joe Girardi

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman may have fired Joe Girardi two years ago, but he still speaks glowingly of the job the former manager did with the Yankees, and doesn't hesitate to recommend that the Mets hire him.

"When you're talking about somebody like Joe, he'd give you instant credibility," Cashman told SNY on Wednesday. "He's buttoned-up, ready to go, and proven successful in the largest market you can find. And he came out on top.

"He was here for 10 years, and some things have an expiration date, but that doesn't diminish the abilities the person possesses or the quality of work he provides. I highly recommend Joe to anybody, even our rivals, unfortunately."

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Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia
Aaron Hicks/CC Sabathia

The Astros and Rays are still focused on their ALDS series that has now gone to a decisive Game 5 to see who moves on to the Championship Series. 

The Yankees, though, are patiently waiting in the Bronx, prepping for the winner of that Thursday night contest. 

It was a clean sweep of the Twins in their ALDS series, dominating at the plate and on the mound throughout. But even through all the success with the roster manager Aaron Boone put together, he and his coaches are still going back to the drawing board entering their next seven-game series. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, Scott Thompson
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