There wasn’t much time for celebration at Yankee Stadium for Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and the rest of the club. They were scheduled to play in Houston shortly.
With home runs from Judge and Stanton, the New York Yankees clinched the AL Division Series on Tuesday with a 5-1 victory against the Cleveland Guardians in Game 5.
In New York, the final out was made just before 7:30 p.m., and Yankees baseman Gleyber Torres marked the moment by holding the ball in a manner similar to the rock the baby move employed by Cleveland’s Josh Naylor after hitting a home run off Gerrit Cole the night prior.
With less than 24 hours to prepare, the Yankees faced the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
New York manager Aaron Boone said, “We’re confronting a great squad.” We should be okay with the fast turnaround. That’s the way baseball is played. Repeatedly, in fact. With assurance, we’ll make our way inside. They’re a fantastic group, and we expect them to be fresh and prepared.
Astros and Yankees, the two best teams in the American League, will face off in an ALCS rematch. The Astros have 106 wins, while the Yankees have 99. The Astros took the series by a 5-2 margin in the regular season.
Jose Altuve’s bottom-of-the-ninth home run off Aroldis Chapman gave the Astros a 3-2 victory against the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2019 AL Championship Series. Although the Astros won their lone World Series in 2017 by defeating the Yankees in seven games of the American League Championship Series, that victory has since been tarnished by the revelation that the team engaged in illegal sign-stealing during the 2017 season.
Altuve, who has won the batting title three times, was 0 for 16 during Houston’s three-game sweep of Seattle in the American League Division Series (ALDS). During the playoffs, the standout second baseman hit.300 with 28 home runs.