Masahiro Tanaka
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Here are 7 incredible stats from Game 1 of the ALCS

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The Yankees triumphed over the Astros in a 7-0 shutout on Saturday, advancing to a one-game lead in the ALCS as they begin to push for a second straight sweep this postseason. While right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and infielder Gleyber Torres both delivered impressive performances that helped position the team for victory — Tanaka, with six innings of scoreless, one-hit ball; Torres, with five RBI and his second postseason home run — they also made noteworthy contributions to several postseason records. Here are just a few:

  • 22-year-old Torres became the third-youngest player to amass at least five RBI in a postseason game, trailing only Addison Russell (age 22, 6 RBI) and Andruw Jones (19 years old, 5 RBI). (h/t Sarah Langs)
  • Torres is also the youngest Yankees player to deliver five RBI in a postseason game. (h/t Sarah Langs)
  • Next to Babe Ruth, Torres is the only AL player with 6+ extra-base hits through a team’s first four postseason appearances. (h/t MLB Stats)
  • Tanaka became the first pitcher to hold opponents to two or fewer runs in each of his first seven postseason starts. Saturday’s win marked the fifth victory and third scoreless outing of his playoff career to date. (h/t Matt Kelly)
  • Tanaka is one of four Yankees starters to pitch 6+ innings while facing the minimum number of batters, joining the likes of Don Larsen (1951), David Wells (1998), and David Cone (1999) — all of whom did so while working on perfect games. (h/t Doug Kern and Andrew Simon)
  • Tanaka also holds the third-lowest postseason ERA () behind Sandy Koufax (0.95) and Christy Mathewson (1.16). (h/t MLB Stats)
  • The 7-0 win over the Astros marked the Yankees’ first postseason shutout with three or fewer hits allowed since Game 4 of the 2000 ALCS, when Roger Clemens pitched a 5-0 one-hitter against the Mariners. (h/t MLB Stats)

As untouchable as the Yankees appeared on Saturday, the Astros aren’t out of this race by any means. They’ll turn to club ace Justin Verlander as they prepare to face off against their league rivals for Game 2, though it’s likely that both teams will have just one other stat in mind:

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).