New York Yankees: Paxton, Hicks Lift the Yankees to Fight Another Day

New York Yankees, James Paxton

With their backs up against the wall, the New York Yankees fought viciously against the Houston Astros to force a game 6.

James Paxton pitched a gem against a heavy-hitting Astros lineup. Through 6 innings of work, he allowed 4 hits, 1 run and struck out 9 batters on 112 pitches. The bullpen, which consisted of Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton, pitched a combined 2.3 innings and allowed 1 hit, no runs and struck out 3 batters on 35 pitches.

The top of the 1st didn’t go according to plan for Paxton. Due to a pitch that bounced in the dirt, George Springer sprinted home to give the Astros an early 1-0 lead.

Justin Verlander also ran into issues of his own in the bottom of the 1st, who gave up a lead-off home run. The man responsible, DJ LeMahieu, blasted the baseball to right field, traveling 355 feet with an exit velocity of 103.2 MPH.

Aaron Hicks unleashed the floodgates in the bottom of the 1st with a 3-run blast to right field, banking just off the foul pole and granting the Yankees with a 4-1 lead. This knock traveled 347 feet with an exit velocity of 105.5 MPH and most importantly, released the zoo into hysteria.

This single moment from Hicks is arguably the most important in the series for the Yankees. The offense has been mediocre since game 2, leaving 26 runners on base and going 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position.

A few names, including Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Edwin Encarnacion, Gary Sanchez, and Gio Urshela have all struggled severely. Before game 5 started, each player slashed at the following:

Brett Gardner: .133/.235/.133

Didi Gregorius: .125/.125/.125

Edwin Encarnacion: .067/.222/.133

Gary Sanchez: .188/.188/.294

Gio Urshela: .133/.188/.33

I don’t think I need to explain why this not a sufficient formula to win postseason games. All of these players have looked lost at the plate and have not replicated what they did in the regular season. That needs to change and quickly, or the Yankees will be in serious trouble.

With all of this being said, the Yankees live to fight for another day, beating the Astros by a score of 4-1. The starting pitching and bullpen were both excellent and the offense did just enough to sneak away with a victory. However, the offense can definitely use more of a motivation booster heading into Houston for game 6 tomorrow night.


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