Torrid Torres Provides the Big Blows for Yankees -- Again -- in ALCS Opener


Yankees middle infielder Gleyber Torres is enjoying the post-season run. After providing the impetus for the Yankees victory in the ALDS against the Twins last week, Torres was given the metallic championship belt the Yankees present their player of the game.

His reaction? Well, he reclaimed the belt after Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday, becoming the third-youngest player in post-season to have five or more RBI in a game.

At 22 years, 303 days of age, Torres is behind only Andrew Jones, who was 19 years, 180 days old with the Braves in his five-RBI game against the Yankees on Oct. 10, 1996, and Addison Russell, who was 22 years, 283 days old when he had six RBI for the Cubs against the Indians on Nov. 1, 2016.

“He came up to me before the game and said, ‘I am going to get that belt tonight,’” Aaron Judgesaid. “I said, ‘We’ll see about that.’ I knew he was going to have a good game, but he proved it (Saturday).”

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​The changing face of the game is apparent that so far this post-season, only nine times has a starting pitcher worked at least five innings. Yankee right-hander Masahiro Tanaka did it for the second time on Saturday, and did it emphatically. Tanaka allowed one hit and one walk in six scoreless innings, the fourth pitcher to not allow an earned run in a start of at least five innings.

He gave up one run five innings in the Yankees win against the Twins in the AL Division Series on Oct. 5. Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole also has two such starts this post-season, but because he had one of them in an eight-inning, 10-strikeout effort against Tampa Bay on Thursday to clinched the AL Division Series, Cole won't get a start in the ALCS until Tuesday in Yankee Stadium.

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Buyer's remorse? Zach Grinke was dominating during the regular season after the Astros acquired him at the July 31 trading deadline. He was 8-1 and the Astros 8-2 in his 10 starts.

But the Astros didn't get him to wrap up the AL West title. They wanted him to be an anchor in another post-season run. The post-season, however, has not been kind to Greinke in his career.

He has lost both of his starts for the Astros this post-season, giving up six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of his start in the Division Series, and then allowing three runs in six innings of the ALCS Opener on Saturday. He has allowed five home runs in the two games.

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It would help the Astros if they could just be close to the offensive team in the post-season that they were in the regular season. The Astros led the AL with a .274 average, .352 on-base percentage and .495 slugging percentage during the regular season.

This post-season, however, they are hitting .224 -- sixth among the 10 teams that qualified for the post-season. They have a .277 on-base percentage, which ranks ninth out of 10, and a .365 slugging percentage, which ranks seventh.

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