|5:08 PM PT6:08 PM MT7:08 PM CT8:08 PM ET20:08 ET0:08 GMT8:08 5:08 PM MST7:08 PM EST7:38 PM VEN4:08 UAE (+1)7:08 PM CT, October 17, 2019
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York Attendance: 49,067
Astros turn to Verlander to clinch ALCS vs. Yanks
Houston Astros at New York Yankees
- Teams that trail 2-1 in best-of-seven playoff series are 41-98 (.295) in those series all-time. The Yankees have a winning series record in such situations (8-5) but lost the 2017 ALCS to the Astros, 4-3, when most recently confronted with this scenario.
- Astros starters have gone at least 6.0 innings in each game of this series, allowing a total of five runs over 19.2 frames (2.29 ERA). Yankees starters have gone just 12.2 innings, tied with the 2016 Indians for the fourth-fewest innings thrown by a team's starting pitchers through three games of an ALCS all-time.
- Houston's hitters struck out an MLB-low 1166 times in the regular season, averaging one strikeout every 5.48 plate appearances. In the postseason, Astros batters are striking out once every 3.67 plate appearances, fourth highest among the 10 teams that made the postseason.
- New York picked up four extra-base hits (1 2B, 3 HR) in its Game 1 win but has three (1 2B, 2 HR) in the two games since. The Yankees are 90-23 across the regular season and postseason when picking up at least three extra-base hits, best in MLB, compared to 17-38 when slugging two or fewer.
- Jose Altuve averages one home run every 13.58 AB in the postseason (38.95 in regular season). Altuve's AB/HR ranks third all-time among infielders with at least 100 postseason at-bats, trailing only Lou Gehrig (11.90) and Evan Longoria (12.78). The Astros are 9-1 in the playoffs when Altuve goes deep, tied with Javy Lopez for the best team record in a player's postseason games with a home run (min. 10 games).
- Gleyber Torres is slashing .417/.481/.958 with three home runs and 10 RBI this postseason. Torres is 22 years old -- the only Yankee with more postseason home runs than Torres at age 22 or younger is Mickey Mantle (four).
- Zack Greinke took the loss in Game 1, allowing three runs over 6.0 innings. He has allowed five home runs in two starts this postseason, one shy of Rick Reed (2002 Min) for the most home runs allowed in a pitcher's first two starts of a postseason all-time.
- Masahiro Tanaka has a 1.32 ERA through seven career postseason starts. Only two Yankees all-time have posted a lower mark through seven postseason starts -- Hall-of-Famer Waite Hoyt (1.23, 1921-26) and Orlando Hernandez (1.24, 1998-2000).
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NEW YORK -- Last season, the Houston Astros were unable to get back to the World Series because after winning the first game of the American League Championship Series, they lost the next four to the eventual champion Boston Red Sox.
This season, the Astros are on the verge of doing the reverse in the ALCS, and can clinch their second trip to the World Series in three seasons Friday night in Game 5 against the host New York Yankees.
Right-hander Justin Verlander will start for Houston and oppose Yankees left-hander James Paxton in a rematch of Sunday's Game 2.
The Astros have scored 15 runs in the series but have hit six homers, including four in New York, where they went 0-3 in the 2017 ALCS before winning Games 6 and 7 at home. George Springer and Carlos Correa blasted three-run homers in Game 4 on Thursday, when Houston claimed an 8-3 win.
"When the game ends and we go into the next game, I love the fact that we have JV on our side," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Verlander. "And he's going to set a tone (Friday) that hopefully leads us to the World Series."
Springer is 2-for-17 in the series but both hits are homers. Correa is 3-for-17 in the series but has two homers.
The Yankees have scored six runs since opening the series with a 7-0 win. They went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, stranded 10 and committed four errors Thursday.
"We played poorly tonight, there's no other way to explain it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the game Thursday. "And we need to flush this immediately because -- we talked about it as a team, we need to get over this in a hurry and come put our best foot forward (Friday)."
During the series, the Yankees are 4-for-27 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 33 runners.
"What got us here was we're able to put the ball in play, move guys over (and) score guys when they're out there on the pond," Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge said.
Verlander is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in three postseason starts this fall and took a no-decision in Game 2 on Sunday, when he allowed two runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Verlander is 14-8 with a 3.18 ERA in 28 career postseason appearances (27 starts). Against the Yankees in the postseason he is 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in seven appearances and since joining the Astros he is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in three postseason starts against New York.
"I think one through nine can hurt you with a homer," Verlander said. "If you make mistakes, they punish you. It's just kind of one of those lineups that you have to go out there and understand that it's going to be a grind."
Paxton will make his third postseason start and the Yankees are hoping he can provide some distance and look like the pitcher who was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in the regular-season and won his last 10 decisions.
Paxton was given a short leash in Game 2 when he allowed one run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. Paxton threw 51 pitches to 12 hitters but fell behind nine of those hitters on the first pitch.
After his start, there was some speculation Paxton was tipping his pitches, something that also happened after he started in Houston in April.
"Not concerned about tipping," Paxton said Thursday. "I made some mistakes and also they hit some good pitches."
Paxton will be making his second postseason start in New York and will do so two weeks after opening the AL Division Series against the Minnesota Twins. In New York's 10-4 win, he allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts but needed 86 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings and fell behind 12 of the 20 hitters he faced.
The Yankees have been without Giancarlo Stanton for the last three games due to a strained right quadriceps and it is possible he could play Friday.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 18, 2019