The Yankees are headed to the ALDS!
In a game that featured two rain delays – one before the game, one just into action – and ended more than six hours after scheduled first pitch, the Yankees outlasted the Indians, 10-9, to win Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Series and sweep Cleveland, 2-0, in the best-of-three series.
The Yankees got down 4-0 early, Cleveland touching up Masahiro Tanaka for a first-inning four-spot around that second delay. However, the Bombers clawed back, with Gio Urshela’s grand slam giving them a 5-4 lead at one point.
Cleveland came back to tie the game twice, at 6-6 and 8-8, and took a 9-8 lead after eight. Closer Brad Hand came in to try to close the door and force a deciding Game 3, but in the ninth inning, a walk and two singles loaded the bases, and Gary Sanchez’s one-out sac fly tied the game again at 9.
And then it was DJ LeMahieu, one of the Yankees’ two MVP candidates, who took matters into his own hands, slapping a ground ball up the middle that scored Gio Urshela from second with the go-ahead run.
That left it all up to Aroldis Chapman, who, after giving up the go-ahead single in the eighth, came back for the ninth and dominated, actually getting four outs in the inning in a way; he struck out Franmil Reyes, got Jordan Luplow to ground out, and struck out pinch-hitter Oscar Mercado, but Mercado reached on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez.
No matter, as Chappy came back to fan pinch-hitter Austin Hedges on a check-swing to punch the Yankees’ ticket to SoCal.
The Yankees will now have four days off before starting the ALDS against a Rays team that went 8-2 against them in the regular season. The best-of-five Division Series begins Monday, Oct. 5, time TBD, with games every night until the series ends (and all games on WFAN).
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN