Just when you thought the New York Yankees were out of the ALDS against Tampa Bay Rays, they came climbing back in game 4 to push the series to one final contest.
The Yankees started off the ALDS with an emphatic win over Tampa, thanks to a solid performance from starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. However, the past two games were tumultuous, at best. Pitching was the Yankeesâ€™ kryptonite, but unpredictable Jordan Montgomery put on a clinic in his outing on Thursday night.
FINAL SCORE: 5-1
Good news and bad news for the New York Yankees:
As stated above, Montgomery was fantastic in the victory. He lasted four innings, allowing one earned run and three hits. It was the exact performance the Yankees needed to climb back into the series, and their offense did just enough to get over the hump.
Thankfully, their bullpen was also stellar, allowing zero hits and striking out six batters along the way. They allowed three overall hits on the night and just one run, while the Yankees posted 11 hits and five earned runs.
In this contest, the stand out player was Kyle Higashioka, who is playing over Gary Sanchez at catcher. Higgy didnâ€™t only only make numerous defensive plays to keep the game in check, but he also drove in a run in the eighth inning to further increase the lead.
The reserve catcher is quickly becoming the favorite for manager Aaron Boone, as Sanchez continues to struggle offensively and has failed to replicate the same defensive performances Higashioka has been putting forth on a daily basis.
With the Yankees gearing up for game five, we can expect ace Gerrit Cole to take the mound. Cole pitched game one, posting six innings of work and three earned runs allowed.
More positive newsâ€”Giancarlo Stanton is the first player in MLB history with at least one extra-base hit in each of his teams for six games of a postseason.
The Yankees put up a phenomenal performance on Thursday evening, meaning there wasnâ€™t much bad news. Their hitters were efficient and got on base frequently.
The bad news boils down to inconsistency. The Yankees are such a streaky team at any given moment, they can go entirely cold. That hurts their momentum and puts them in tough positions like this, having to play from behind.
The team desperately needs another solid performance out of Cole, but their offense must produce, which leads me to believe that Higashioka will once again to be in the lineup, considering his recent hot streak.