Game Seven – The Best Two Words in Sports
If you’re one to say baseball is boring, I suggest you tune into tonight’s game, because it will be the farthest thing from boring. The New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will face off in a win-or-go-home contest tonight at Minute Maid Park. Game Seven’s are already unpredictable enough, but the way this series has been going, it is even harder to predict.
The series has taken multiple twists and turns. Houston jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to stellar performances from Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. The Yankees, once again, fought back from down two games to zero.
The Yanks bats got red hot in New York, and found themselves up 3-2, going into a game 6. With Houston’s back against the wall, fighting to stay alive, Justin Verlander answered the call. Verlander was superb again, throwing seven shutout innings which led Houston to win 7-1. Young guys like Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, and Gary Sanchez will have to step up and show they can perform in big time October baseball games.
The Yankees will send C.C. Sabathia to the bump. Last time out, Sabathia threw six innings of great shutout baseball. There have been a handful of times, over the last couple of years when it seemed like there was no way Sabathia would get another shot to throw in a playoff baseball game, let alone game seven of the ALCS. But here he is, and it seems like the Yankees would not want anyone else to take the hill tonight.
This isn’t Sabathia’s first rodeo – he has started in two elimination games in his career, and his team won both of them. In 2012, he threw a complete game to beat the Baltimore Orioles in game five of the ALDS. More recently, he outlasted Indians ace Corey Kluber, giving up two runs and striking out nine in 4 ⅓. Sabathia hopes to continue his good play tonight against a strong Houston lineup.
Jose Altuve and the Astros will look to end the Yankees exciting playoff run tonight, and advance to the World Series to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. Altuve played like an MVP last night, hitting his fourth homerun of the postseason, and tallying up three big time RBIs. Houston’s offense finally seemed to come back alive last night, we’ll see if they can keep the foot on the gas pedal against C.C. Sabathia.
The Houston Astros will send Charlie Morton to the mound tonight – on a very, very short leash. Don’t be surprised if you see Houston ace Dallas Keuchel come out of the bullpen early. It may sound ridiculous, but don’t be surprised if you see the Astros throw Justin Verlander for an inning.
In Game Seven’s, situations are dire. If Houston thinks their best chance to advance to the World Series is to rely on Justin Verlander on no days rest, they will do it – no questions asked. Nonetheless, you will see Houston using their bullpen early and often.
Analysts and baseball experts can look at stats and crunch numbers all they want, it will have no effect on this game. Take all of the numbers and throw them out the window. Game Seven’s are won by the teams who make the right plays at the right time, they’re won by teams whose veterans and all stars step up in big spots, and they’re won by teams who want it more. One thing is for certain, Game Seven of the 2017 ALCS is going to be a battle, we’ll see who comes out on top.