New York Yankees Face Elimination On Friday

New York Yankees, Edwin Encarnacion
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It always sucks talking about elimination games, but here we go again for the New York Yankees. They played absolutely horrible on Thursday, having just five hits while making four errors in an 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros.

On Friday, the Yankees will be facing Astros ace Justin Verlander for the second time this series. They did enough against him in game two where it was tied when he exited, thanks to a two-run shot off the bat of Aaron Judge.

But, Yankees game two starter James Paxton will need to do a whole lot more in game five. He needs to be on and go deep into the game. He can’t have another short exit like in game two.

The Yankees haven’t had much offense since game one, since when Giancarlo Stanton was injured. But now, Stanton is back in the lineup and batting fourth, taking the role of DH from the slumping Edwin Encarnacion.

Since it is an elimination game on Friday, the Yankees need to do everything they can to send it to Houston on Saturday. They may need to stretch guys like Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton a bit, but they can’t be pitching in the early innings.

The ideal situation in my mind would be to try and get six strong from Paxton, go to Kahnle for the seventh, Britton for the eighth, and Chapman for the ninth. But, if it is too close or Paxton doesn’t last long, they may need to pitch those guys two or even three innings apiece.

If the Yankees extended the series, the Astros would throw a bullpen game on Saturday as would the Yankees. If a game seven occured, Gerrit Cole would pitch against Luis Severino, a game three rematch.

The Yankees have their backs to the wall, but everybody knows that the fourth win in a playoff series is the hardest to get. There have been many 3-1 chokes in all of sports, so anything is possible if the Yankees play like they did in the regular season.