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Yankees Stay Alive In ALCS Thanks To Strong Showing From Sabathia

Devin Altschul |
October 21, 2010 | 1:56 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees

Game 5 recap: Many fans wondered if Wednesday’s game would be it for the defending World Series champions, but the New York Yankees came through with C.C. Sabathia on the mound. The Yankees are now trying to overcome their first 3-1 postseason deficit since 1958, but every Yankee fan still has 2004 fresh in their minds. They know that anything is possible.

Sabathia, who lasted just four innings in the series opener, allowed two runs and eleven hits (matching his season high) in six innings with no walks. His off-speed pitches dominated the Rangers all game. Not one of his 44 off-speed pitches was put in play. With the Rangers collecting their 11 hits off fastballs, Sabathia’s offspeed offerings, combined with the Yankees offense, were enough to get the 7-2 win.

The Yankees, who struggled to find big hits in the previous three games, were finally able to come through with runners in scoring position.

The ALCS will now move back to Texas for Game 6 with Phil Hughes pitching for the Yankees and Colby Lewis for the Rangers.

Key moment: Sabathia’s key outs came in the sixth inning, when the Rangers loaded the bases with one out. Matt Treanor hit an RBI grounder but Sabathia froze Mitch Moreland after an eight-pitch at-bat with a curveball, striking him out. Sabathia’s response: fist pump.

Game changer: Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano had back-to-back home runs in the third inning to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead (and the fans the reassurance they needed).

Play of the game: There were many plays of the game, but the best ones included three Yankee solo home runs, making them the fourth team to hit at least three home runs, all of them solo, in an LCS game.

Unsung hero: In this game there were two. Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson both had run-scoring singles in the third inning and went a combined 5-8. They answered the call when the team needed them.

Quote of the game: “There was determination that we were going to go out and play our game today,” - Yankees manager Joe Girardi

To reach writer Devin Altschul, click here.

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