Tales Of Redemption As Yankees Win Game 5 Of ALDS, Nationals Force Game 5 In NLDS

MLB Playoffs Continue To Heat Up As of last Friday night, the New York Yankees were as good as done. They’d lost Game 2 of the American League Division...

MLB Playoffs Continue To Heat Up

As of last Friday night, the New York Yankees were as good as done.

They’d lost Game 2 of the American League Division Series by blowing an 8-3 lead and falling 9-8 to the Cleveland Indians. They were down 2-0 in a best-of-five series.

Now they’re as good as it gets. The Yankees beat the Indians 5-2 on Wednesday night in Cleveland to win for the third straight time and advance to the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros on Friday. It’s their first ALCS appearance since 2012.

The Indians helped out quite a bit, committing seven errors over the last two games. And Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius made a huge difference with two home runs in the first three innings Wednesday night to stake the Yankees to a 3-0 lead.

Earlier in the day, the Washington Nationals tripped the Chicago Cubs 5-0 to send their National League Division Series back to our nation’s capital. Again, there’s a story of redemption.

Stephen Strasburg, the ace of Washington’s staff, was not going to be able to pitch in Game 4 because of flu-like symptoms. An immediate yowl went up from fans and media about Strasburg lacking heart and guts in the clutch. And then that game was rained out and postponed to Wednesday.

Who showed up to pitch at Wrigley Field? Strasburg, filled with antibiotics and IV fluids. How’d he do? Seven innings, a club playoff record 12 strikeouts, including all three outs of that final inning he worked. The Nationals were protecting a 1-0 lead when Michael Taylor hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to set the final score and guarantee Game 5.

The Yankees knocked off the defending AL champs. It falls to the Nationals now to take out the defending World Series champion on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET (TBS).

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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