Yankees Defeat Astros, 4-1, in ALCS Game 5: Instant Analysis

Taking a look at how the New York Yankees staved off the Houston Astros, 4-1, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium to force a Game 6 in the ALCS.

The New York Yankees defeated the Houston Astros, 4-1, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 of the ALCS.

The game was over when…

…Zack Britton got the Yankees out of a jam in the seventh inning and then pitched a scoreless eighth inning.

Belt Winners

  • James Paxton: With their backs against the wall, Paxton delivered a gem. He went 6.0 IP allowing four hits, one run (one earned) and four walks while striking out nine.
  • Zack Britton: The ground ball king relieved Tommy Kahnle in the seventh with two on and one out. He pitched his way out of the jam nicely and pitched a scoreless eighth inning—striking out two.
  • Aaron Hicks: Even if he only recorded one hit, it was a huge three-run homer off the foul pole in right field to get the Yankees the lead in the first inning.

Key Stats

  • 1: Unlike the other games this series, the Yankees only left one runner on base. Granted they only had five base runners. Baby steps.
  • 87.9: Astros hitters recorded an average exit velocity of just 87.9 MPH off of Paxton’s fastball.

Timeline: Giancarlo Stanton’s Frustrating Start in the Bronx

Quick Hits

  • Paxton’s 112 pitches were the most by a Yankee this season.
  • It was mostly fastballs for Paxton. Of his 112 total pitches, 71 were fastballs—accounting for 63.3% of his pitches. The next highest pitch was his cutter, which he threw just 18 times (16%).
  • D.J. LeMahieu started off the first inning for the Yankees with a solo home run to right field off of Justin Verlander.
  • Giancarlo Stanton made his return from a quad injury but struggled—striking out twice.
  • Gary Sanchez continues to struggle, including three strikeouts against Verlander.
  • Sanchez has now struck out 15 times in 28 postseason at-bats.
  • Following the Hicks home run, Verlander settled down to retire 20 of the next 21 Yankees hitters.
  • Aroldis Chapman was dominant in his only inning for the save.

Play of the Game: Hicks went deep in the first inning to give the Yankees a lead they wouldn’t give up.

Up Next: The Yankees travel back to Minute Maid Park to face the Astros in an elimination ALCS Game 6.

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