Tuesday, October 6, 2015
By: Alec McChesney
On a quiet day in the rest of the sports' world, the 2015 MLB playoffs finally began, and they did not disappoint. Dallas Keuchel was as good as advertised going six innings giving up zero runs on just three days of rest. Oh, and the Astros' line-up did what they do best: hit home runs. Masahiro Tanaka lasted only four innings, giving up home runs to Carlos Gomez and Colby Rasmus. Both of the home runs were off of the first pitch and were absolute moon-shots. Jose Altuve joined the fun, hitting an RBI single off of Dellin Betances in the seventh inning which pushed the Astros' lead to three. Dallas Keuchel handed the ball off to the bullpen to finish the game. And finish the game they did, Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Luke Gregerson pitched three scoreless innings. Thanks to some power and excellent pitching, the Astros escaped the Bronx with a 3-0 victory.
In a very interesting move, Jacoby Ellsbury was a healthy scratch for the Yankees tonight. Chris Young and Brett Gardener started in the outfield and were extremely underwhelming. Ellsbury did not make an appearance until he pinch hit in the eighth inning with two outs and no one on. His at-bat ended shortly with a pop-up to the short stop. In defense of Young and Gardener, the New York Yankees' offense as a whole was extremely disappointing. They were only able to muster three hits and zero runs against the Houston staff.
The lone bright spot for the Yankees was experience. Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Andrew Miller, Didi Gregorious, and Rob Refsnyder all gained valuable experience by playing in this game. For the first time in many years, the Yankees have a good young core and an extremely bright future. Although their surprising playoff run came to an end, the Astros' journey is only just beginning.
Houston will now face off against the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 American League Divisional Series. The series will begin on Thursday night in Kansas City. The Royals are expected to be heavily favored, but Houston's power and pitching can not be taken lightly. Look for this series to potentially go all five games with the Kansas City Royals coming out on top.
The Wild Card games continue tomorrow night in Pittsburgh as the Chicago Cubs will take on the Pirates at 7 pm central time. This match up should be extremely exciting as two young line-ups face off against each teams' ace. Jake Arrieta squares off against Gerrit Cole in what figures to be a pitching affair. The winner of this game will meet the Saint Louis Cardinals in the National League Divisional Series.