The New York Yankees became the 10th team in Major League Baseball history to erase a 0-2 series deficit in a best-of-five format with a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Shortstop Didi Gregorius, spearheaded the Bronx Bombers’ victorious effort with a pair of home runs off Indians starter Corey Kluber, including a two-run crush job in the third inning. The Indians had a glimmer of hope trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning, but Brett Gardner capped off an epic 12-pitch at-bat against Cody Allen with a base hit to right field that scored two thanks to a throwing error by Jay Bruce. On the mound, the Yankees received something of a truncated gem from CC Sabathia, who tied his season high and postseason career high with nine strikeouts.
However, Sabathia seemingly ran out of gas in the fifth inning when he conceded four straight one-out singles, including a pair of RBI base knocks to Roberto Perez and Giovanny Urshela. Despite the hiccup, Sabathia became the first pitcher in MLB postseason history to register at least nine strikeouts in fewer than five innings. Kluber also racked up Ks with six punchouts of his own, but a pair of costly mistakes with Gregorius at the plate gave New York just enough breathing room. This kind of efficiency the Yankees will need if they want to have a shot of upsetting the Houston Astros and punching a ticket to their first World Series since 2009. Safely through, the Yankees will now prepare for a quick turnaround as they get set to travel to Minute Maid Park for Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday night.
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell will not return as the club’s manager for the 2018 season. The team announced the move less than 48 hours after the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs with a 5-4 loss to the Houston Astros. A search for a new manager will begin immediately, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said: “You weigh a bunch of different things when making a decision like this. It is a major decision. On (Tuesday) morning, I asked our baseball staff members to get together to discuss the topic of the manager’s spot. Basically after that, I made the decision myself to make a change”. Farrell managed the team to its eighth World Series title in 2013, his first season. But he found himself under a harsh spotlight each of the last two seasons after exits in the division series of the postseason. Farrell stated: “I have enjoyed every moment of this job – its peaks and its valleys. There are few, if any, positions in life that create so much passion on a daily basis. We had a number of challenges thrown our way from individual injuries to performance. But as a team they stuck together. The legions of fans who support this franchise keep their manager on his toes day in and day out. There are no days off when managing this proud franchise. I would not have wanted it any other way”. Farrell, 55, completed his fifth season as Red Sox manager in 2017, leading the team to a 93-69 (.574) record and the club’s ninth American League East division title. Boston finished the season with the third-best record in the American League, tied for fifth best in the majors. Farrell began his major league managerial career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, leading the club to a 154-170 record over two seasons. In his seven full seasons as a manager, his clubs have gone 586-548 (.517). Farrell’s first professional coaching stint began with the Red Sox in 2007 when he spent four seasons as Boston’s pitching coach. Over that four-year span, he helped lead the Red Sox to three postseason appearances (2007-09), including the club’s 2007 World Series title.