Tigers right-hander Doug Fister has been uncharacteristically wild in this ALCS Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, allowing three walks through two innings. But he was bailed out on a nice play by Jhonny Peralta with the bases loaded in the first inning and a blown call by first base umpire Rob Drake with the bases juiced again in the second.
Robinson Cano hit a ball off Fister’s wrist and beat out Peralta’s throw to first base. If called correctly, Russell Martin would have scored from third base.
As is, this first game of a best-of-seven is tied 0-0 entering the bottom of the third inning.
Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte has been sharp, yielding just two hits while fanning three Detroit batters over his first three frames. He entered the evening with 270 career postseason innings to his name and looks about as comfortable as a person can possibly be on the mound in a mid-October start.
There were quite a few empty seats when the game began, but Yankee Stadium now looks pretty full.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.