A word about that bandage on Joaquin Benoit’s face

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We had a tense three and a half hour playoff elimination game last night. Some of baseball’s biggest names coming to bat and hurling pitches in clutch situations. Drama. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  And the subject that took up the most real estate in our live chat last night?  That thing on Joaquin Benoit’s face.

For those who missed it, Benoit came into the game in the seventh inning. On his left cheek: a bandage the size of a pool tarp.  Joe Girardi came out of the dugout and complained about it to the home plate umpire who then made Benoit remove it.  Underneath the bandage was either a giant boil or a zit or Kuato or something. It was quite the scene, man.

On Twitter, in the chat and around the blogosphere this morning I’ve seen references to this being one of Joe Girardi’s mind games.  I’m not buying it.  I could see the bandage from here in Ohio, even when I turned my TV off.  It interfered with the landing pattern at LaGuardia. While the thing under the bandage wasn’t pretty, with the bandage on, Benoit looked like Darkman.

I guess what I’m saying is, no, that wasn’t an instance of Joe Girardi playing mind games. The only thing that would have made the bandage more distracting would be if it was lit with neon. It had to go.

Best part:  He somehow found an even bigger one for the postgame celebration!

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Yankees’ offense wakes up, leads way to 8-1 win vs. Astros in ALCS Game 3

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The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.

CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.

Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.

In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.

The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.