The sold-out Yankee Stadium had not forgotten about Joe Girardi’s managerial blunder during Game 2 of the ALDS in Cleveland, and when the Yankee skipper was introduced before the start of Game 3 Sunday night, boos rained down from the 48,614 at the Bronx ballpark.
Tanaka was the ultimate star in the New York Yankees’ season-saving American League Division Series Game 3, 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. The Indians still lead the series two games to one, but the Yankees have their ace Luis Severino starting Monday, and Cleveland must, at the least, wait one more night for another champagne bath.
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On Sunday, it was Tanaka, who threw the most important seven scoreless innings of his major league career. It was right fielder Aaron Judge, who stole a two-run homer in the sixth inning. It was first baseman Greg Bird, who smashed the solo homer in the seventh. It was catcher Gary Sanchez, whose defense was not a focal point for a change, which, in other words, means it was very good. New York rebounded from a bruising loss Friday in Game 2 that led to heavy criticism of manager Joe Girardi, booed Sunday night by the home crowd during pregame introductions.
Game 4 is Monday at 7:08 p.m. at Yankee Stadium, with young ace Luis Severino scheduled to start for New York, but the threat of rain might wash things out. Cleveland might go with Game 1 winner Trevor Bauer on three days’ rest. Cleveland had won six straight ALDS games, one shy of the 2009-11 Yankees for the best such streak ever.