Yankee Bats Overpower Twins — ALDS Game 1: NY 10 Minn 4

The Yankee offense staged relentless rallies in the middle innings of this game to overcome a sol0-home-run attack by Minnesota, in the 10-4 Yankee thumping on a crisp October 4th Friday night at the Stadium. The Yankees take the 1-0 lead in this best-of-5 series. They need 2 more wins against Minnesota and 10 more overall to win the whole thing. Can they do it?

James Paxton started for NY and was up against the team that now holds the major league record for home runs in a season — the Twins hit 307 home runs this year to the Yankees 306 — both teams annihiliated the previous record of 268 by the Yankees of 2018.

Paxton was scintillating down the stretch for the Yanks — but in this game got touched up by a solo home run by Minnesota’s star 26-yr-old shortstop Jorge Polanco in the 1st inning, and a solo home run by 39-yr-old veteran DH Nelson Cruz in the 3rd inning for a 2-0 Minnesota lead. This was Paxton’s strategy going in — if you’re going to give up a home run, give up the solo home run. Try to stay ahead in the count.

Paxton only walked one batter — a big difference from the early-season Paxton who nibbled the plate. That limited the damage of the Minny homers. There was also Aaron Judge to the rescue — who made a terrific catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Polanco in the 3rd just before Cruz’s homer — if not for that catch it probably would have been a 2-run dinger.

The Yankees almost broke through in the 1st when  Giancarlo Stanton hit a squibbler down 3rd and beat it out for an infield single that scored a run to tie the game and put runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 out. But the play was reviewed and Stanton was called out by a hair. Still at least the Yanks were starting to build up the pitch count of Minnesota’s ace Jose Berrios.

The Yanks broke through in the 3rd on an easily catchable bloop over 2nd by DJ LeMahieu that 2nd baseman xxx failed to catch, a solid single to center by Aaron Judge, and hot shot RBI double to left by Edwin Encarnacion to make it 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton drew a big walk — slamming down the bat with energy after ball 4 — to load the bases with 1 out. Gleyber Torres hit an inning-ending double play grounder that Minnesota’s 1st baseman Cron allowed get by for a 2-run error and 3-2 Yankees lead.

Paxton, staked to a 3-2 lead, mowed through a 1-2-3 4th but ran into trouble in the 5th — with 2 out and a runner on 2nd he faced Polanco again, who fought him through an 11-pitch at bat before singling in the tieing run.

Deja Vu All Over Again

But the Yankee offense was just getting warmed up — and Berrios was wearing down. In the 5th, Judge walked for the 2nd time, Brett Gardner (batting 3rd) was hit by a pitch and Berrios was gone. Giancarlo Stanton got a big walk and threw down the bat (although not as angrily as the 1st time) and Gleyber Torres came up again with bases loaded. This time he hit a SHOT past the 3rd baseman — actually off his glove — down the left field line for a 2-RBI double and a 5-3 lead.

Miguel Sano hit — a solo home run — off Tommy Kahnle in the 6th to make it 5-4 but the Yankee offense matched that and did it one better in the bottom of the 6th with solo home runs by DJ LeMahieu (to left) and Brett Gardner (to right). and it was 7-4 NY.

Judge with Another Superman Play

Yanks Manager Aaron Boone only pitched Chad Green 2/3 of an inning in relief of Kahnle — and oddly brought in Zack Britton for the 7th. The question most fans had was, “Who was going to pitch the 8th? Britton for 2 innings?” What Boone had was J.A. Happ in the bullpen.  With 2 out and Polanco on 1st (after a walk), Rosario hit a liner to right that Aaron Judge made a terrific play on — his second great play of the game — to get the final out and save a run (or more).

1970’s/80’s Baseball

The Yanks broke the game open in the 7th — another walk by Stanton to lead off, and pinch run for by Cameron Maybin. Maybin proceeded to play like it was the 1970’s/80’s — putting pressure on the pitcher by stealing 2nd, then stealing 3rd on a double steal with Gleyber Torres to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Didi Gregorius walked to load the bases, but Gio Urshela hit a fly to center that was deemed too shallow to try to score on. DJ LeMahieu then hit a bases-clearing double for the old ballgame.

Aroldis Chapman got some work in by pitching the 9th.


  • Judge was phenomenal last night — big walks, line shot singles, and two terrific/spectacular plays in right field
  • Stanton was phenomenal last night — so many big walks.
  • Encarnacion was terrific last night — big RBI doubles. Boy is it nice to have his big bat in the playoff lineup.
  • Gardner — batting in the 3rd hole, with a good performance including a homer.
  • DJ LeMahieu also phenomenal — 3 hits, 4 RBI’s (although he did make an error at 1st early in the game, not catching a high popup, although the runner did not come around to score).
  • Gleyber Torres with a good game hitting wise.
  • Didi Gregorius got a big walk late in the game; prior to that his slump continued — he struck out twice
  • Gary Sanchez not a good night — kept striking out.





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