Girardi to assess his future with family

Yankees manager does not have a contract for 2018

Girardi to assess his future with family

HOUSTON -- Within faint earshot of the pandemonium and revelry taking place a few hundred feet away on the Minute Maid Park diamond, Yankees manager Joe Girardi addressed his players on Saturday evening, telling them how proud he was and expressing his belief that even brighter days are ahead for the franchise.

The next conversation of significance Girardi must have will take place in the coming days, as he plans to sit down with his family to discuss their personal future. Girardi's 10th season as Yankees manager expired with New York's 4-0 loss to the Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, and he does not have a contract for the 2018 season.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks not hanging heads after memorable run

Club proud of what it accomplished, cites home-field advantage as big factor

Yanks not hanging heads after memorable run

HOUSTON -- The magical, memorable ride of the Yankees' 2017 season came to an end at 10:19 p.m. CT on Saturday, with Greg Bird lofting an easy fly ball to Astros center fielder George Springer for the final out of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.

The Yankees had played in, and won, four potential elimination games over the course of their postseason run, sending the Twins and Indians home for the offseason. Though it was now their turn to empty lockers and look toward next year, on some level the Yanks' 4-0 defeat felt like just the opening chapter of a story that will soon be continued.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Future bright for Yanks despite ALCS defeat

Cashman: New York 'will be one of the hunted, not one of the hunters'

Future bright for Yanks despite ALCS defeat

HOUSTON -- In the end, the Yankees were beaten by a better team.

And while the sting of Saturday night's 4-0 loss in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World is certain to stick with them for a while, it's impossible to look at this team and not believe the future is brighter for the Yankees than it's been in nearly a decade.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks' run ends with Game 7 loss to Astros

Yanks' run ends with Game 7 loss to Astros

HOUSTON -- The deafening roars began on the first pitch thrown by Charlie Morton in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, and they didn't stop. Solo homers by Evan Gattis in the fourth inning and Jose Altuve in the fifth rocked Minute Maid Park, and a two-run double by Brian McCann later in the fifth sent the ballpark into a frenzy.

• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tip of the cap, respect after hard-fought ALCS

Tip of the cap, respect after hard-fought ALCS

HOUSTON -- The Astros are headed to the Fall Classic for the second time in franchise history after prevailing over the Yankees in a hard-fought, tense seven-game American League Championship Series.

• Dress for the World Series: Get Astros postseason gear

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge denies Yuli with incredible leaping grab

Judge denies Yuli with incredible leaping grab

HOUSTON -- Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge showed once again that he's not only an elite hitter, but he can play some defense, too, as he made an incredible leaping catch at the wall to rob the Astros' Yuli Gurriel of extra bases -- and, possibly, a home run -- in the second inning of Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World on Saturday.

His heroics, however, could not prevent a 4-0 loss that brought the Yankees' postseason run to an end.

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Rhett Bollinger has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CC hopes G7 wasn't last start for Yankees

Girardi, teammates praise Sabathia's veteran leadership

CC hopes G7 wasn't last start for Yankees

HOUSTON -- Over the past decade, there is no pitcher that Joe Girardi has trusted with the ball more often than CC Sabathia, which is why the manager's voice quivered after he was presented with the possibility that the big left-hander may have left the mound for the final time with the Yankees.

Sabathia's contract is set to expire after the World Series, and while the 37-year-old has said he wants to continue pitching as long as he is healthy, there is no guarantee that his next start will come for New York.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans at Yanks watch party stay hopeful to end

Despite disappointing loss, Bronx faithful optimistic about next season

Fans at Yanks watch party stay hopeful to end

NEW YORK -- The dream died somewhere around the fifth inning at Foley's NY Pub on Saturday night, but the hope never faltered. The pack of Yankees fans that crowded New York's premier baseball bar for the first Game 7 the city has seen in 13 years, remained thick as Evan Gattis, then Jose Altuve, then Brian McCann sent the idea of a Big Apple World Series fading into the night.

Their brows furrowed, their hands wringing nervously, the crowd that witnessed the Yanks' season end with a 4-0 loss to the Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, remained until the final out. Greg Bird skied a curveball out to George Springer, and those gathered uttered a collective groan. Then they left, balancing disappointment with a hopeful sense that this surprise of a season is a sign of things to come.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees-Astros ALCS Game 7: In Real Life

Yankees-Astros ALCS Game 7: In Real Life

The Astros defeated the Yankees, 4-0, in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World on Saturday night in Houston to advance to face the Dodgers in the World Series presented by YouTube TV, with Game 1 slated for Tuesday (8 p.m. ET/FOX).

World Series Gm 1: Tues., 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX

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This time, Judge makes leaping grab in Houston

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This time, Judge makes leaping grab in Houston

The Astros tried to get off to a fast start on Saturday night in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, as Yuli Gurriel crushed a long drive off CC Sabathia to deep right field leading off the bottom of the second inning. The only problem for Gurriel was that the man he hit it to, Aaron Judge, has had a knack for superb plays all year long.

Flash back to Game 2 in Houston, though. Faced with a similar predicament on a smash by Carlos Correa, Judge fell just short, thanks in small part to one young Astros fan.

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DYK? Facts, figures about ALCS Game 7

DYK? Facts, figures about ALCS Game 7

The Astros returned to Minute Maid Park needing two straight victories to advance to the World Series. Mission accomplished.

World Series Gm 1: Tues., 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ALCS Game 7: Joe Girardi postgame interview

ALCS Game 7: Joe Girardi postgame interview

Q. What did you say to the team after tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: How proud I was of them. How this hurts. I understand, I've been through it as a player. I've been through it as a manager. And how it really needs to be the motivating factor during the winter and Spring Training to get better. Because I believe this club can even get better. And that was basically the message.

Q. What did the four losses here in Houston tell you about your team?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean there were some tough losses. We lost two games 2-1. We were in another tight game tonight.

I mean, I know people are going to talk about how we didn't win many games on the road. There were some other teams that haven't won many games on the road, either. We just happened to run into a very good team that just beat us.

I'd like to congratulate A.J. Hinch and the Astros. They beat us. And that's the bottom line.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 13 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 2 Oct. 14 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 3 Oct. 16 NYY 8, HOU 1 WATCH
Gm 4 Oct. 17 NYY 6, HOU 4 WATCH
Gm 5 Oct. 18 NYY 5, HOU 0 WATCH
Gm 6 Oct. 20 HOU 7, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 7 Oct. 21 HOU 4, NYY 0 WATCH


There are things we need to get better on, and that will be a focus. But, again, I'm extremely proud of this group, what they've accomplished up to this point. But I think there's more. More. And that's the motivating factor.

Q. You said you think there's more. Do you want to be a part of this?
JOE GIRARDI: I love what I do. I've always said, the first thing that I do is I always talk to my family first. They come first. Because I think when you have a job, I mean, your family has to buy in, too. It's not just what you want out of life. It's everyone buying in. So I'll sit down, talk to my wife and my kids and see where they're at and what they're thinking. And then we'll see what the Yankees are thinking.

That's not my concern right now. I've had 10 great years here. I feel extremely blessed. God has been good to me. And we'll see what the future holds.

Q. I know this is really fresh, when you step back and look at where you were and where you are now, has this all gone quicker than you expected?
JOE GIRARDI: I'm sure -- probably, yeah. But, again, when I left Spring Training I felt really good about this team, I did. I thought, "Man, we're going to score runs." And that had kind of been a problem for us. And I felt good about our club and the leadership in the room. I can't tell you I could have predicted the year that Aaron Judge was going to have or even Gary Sanchez over a full year, missing a month. The improvements that a lot of our guys made.

It is pretty special how quickly they came. And, again, I really believe that there's more and there's more talent down below that are going to continue to push people.

But it was a lot of fun to manage this group, it really was. I'm as proud of this group as I've been of any team I've ever managed.

Q. They said on TV that CC was sick. Did that play into tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: We had some guys that have been dealing with colds. David Robertson has been dealing with a pretty wicked cold. It's been going around.

Our players are never going to make excuses. It happens this time of the year, it seems. I know there was a flu bug in 2009 that was going around. It just seems to happen every year. We had some guys that were under the weather, definitely.

Q. Besides obviously the pitching, is there a reason you didn't hit here in Houston in the series?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't know. I mean, again, it's a team that hasn't experienced a lot of this in a sense and going on the road in hostile environments. We were able to win Game 5 in Cleveland, and I felt good about us winning one game here. But we just weren't able to do it.

You've got to give them credit. They pitched their rear ends off. And the bottom line is they beat us.

Q. People from the outside that didn't expect this type of performance from you guys going this far, is it any consolation you guys made it or does it hurt too much?
JOE GIRARDI: I think right now it probably hurts too much to really think about that. Maybe as you move forward and as the winter goes on, the excitement will be there about what this team accomplished.

But, again, we fell short. And that's what hurts. You put -- there are a lot of days that go into a season and now we have to start over. And this club has to prove itself again.

Q. You've mentioned a few times that you think there's more for this team. I realize it's so soon after this season, but what do you think is more? Where do you think the growth is for this team?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think there are things that we can do better. I think guys will mature and at times I think there is mental growth, as well as physical growth. And the mental growth sometimes can be not trying too hard. Being able to control your emotions in situations. And I think a lot of times it can be tough.

You get to this point you can't imagine how bad the guys want it. And you have to learn to sometimes control your emotions. So that's growth.

I think there are things that individual players can do better. And that will continue. And if I'm a part of it, it will be a focus.

Q. The other thing is as Yankee manager, you didn't give the ball to a starter or take the ball from a starter more than CC Sabathia. Did you think this might be the last time you do that?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for. And the great player that he is. The great man that he is. The wonderful teammate that he is. I mean, how he pulls a team together. He's as good as I've ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you're on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time. I'm not saying that he won't be back. But there's no guarantees for me.

And I'm very thankful for the years that I've had with CC. He's taught me a lot. And our players can learn a lot from CC. The kind of fighter that he is. The things that he has to overcome to be successful. The knee issues and he doesn't have the 98 in the pocket anymore. And how he reinvented himself. He's a special -- as special as they get.

Q. You mentioned Derek Jeter in association with Aaron Judge. As you look at the whole season, how would you describe Aaron's season and what you see in his future?
JOE GIRARDI: I think his future is extremely bright. I think he had an unbelievable season. Not one that -- I don't think I would have predicted that he would be an MVP candidate, from what we saw last year. I knew the heart was there. I knew that he had a great head on his shoulders. I knew the work ethic was there. I knew the talent was there. But that's a lot to ask from a rookie to be an MVP type of candidate.

I think the sky's the limit for this kid. And again, he's a natural-born leader. And that doesn't happen at an age where he's at, where people look to him, and it's already happening.

Q. To follow up on that, how much did you learn about all the young guys during this playoff run?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think you learn a lot. Some of the averages aren't there, but that's normal. That's normal across baseball. But you look at the production you got from an Aaron Judge and a Gary Sanchez and a Greg Bird and Chad Green, and Kahnle was able to do, I know he's not a rookie, but he's an extremely young player, just what these guys were able to do is pretty special. And to get 50-plus at-bats under your career in playoff baseball at this age, that's special.

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ALCS makes history as home teams dominate

Astros advance to World Series by winning four games in Houston

ALCS makes history as home teams dominate

When George Springer caught the final out of the 2017 American League Championship Series presented by Camping World to send the Astros to their second World Series in franchise history, it also marked the end of a series that saw the home team win every game. Houston took Games 1 and 2 at Minute Maid Park, the Yankees won Games 3-5 in the Bronx and the Astros returned home to capture Games 6 and 7.

World Series Gm 1: Tues., 7:30 p.m. ET air time | 8 ET game time on FOX

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks can't close out ALCS, fall in Game 6

Yanks can't close out ALCS, fall in Game 6

HOUSTON -- Another dominant performance by Justin Verlander saved the Astros' season for at least one more day and forced a Game 7 against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Verlander threw seven scoreless innings for the Astros, who got clutch hits from Brian McCann and Jose Altuve in the fifth and a spectacular catch at the wall in the seventh by George Springer to beat the Yankees, 7-1, on Friday night in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge breaks up shutout with massive homer

Rookie crushes fourth long ball of postseason off Peacock in eighth inning

Judge breaks up shutout with massive homer

HOUSTON -- Aaron Judge showed off his immense power yet again, launching the hardest-hit homer of the postseason in the eighth inning of Friday's Game 6 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 13 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 2 Oct. 14 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 3 Oct. 16 NYY 8, HOU 1 WATCH
Gm 4 Oct. 17 NYY 6, HOU 4 WATCH
Gm 5 Oct. 18 NYY 5, HOU 0 WATCH
Gm 6 Oct. 20 HOU 7, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 7 Oct. 21 HOU 4, NYY 0 WATCH

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees' offense stalls vs. crafty Verlander

Missed opportunities in sixth, seventh prove costly for New York

Yankees' offense stalls vs. crafty Verlander

HOUSTON -- There were those in the Yankees' clubhouse who would have loved to play Thursday after reeling off three straight victories in front of sold-out, frenzied crowds at Yankee Stadium, viewing their travel day to the Bayou City as the equivalent of a football team icing the kicker with a timeout.

The deep freeze had more to do with Justin Verlander, who was dominant once again as he helped the Astros even the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World with a 7-1 victory in Game 6 on Friday. One win away from securing a trip to Los Angeles for the World Series against the Dodgers, the momentum the Yankees enjoyed in the Bronx never arrived, though they had chances to break through.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Missed chances in fateful seventh sink Yanks

Frazier robbed of extra-base hit on catch by Springer

Missed chances in fateful seventh sink Yanks

HOUSTON -- As the ball left Todd Frazier's bat, he thought it was a home run and Game 6 of the American League Championship Series was going to be tied.

But the Yankees lost out on their chance to get to Astros ace Justin Verlander in that seventh inning, as Frazier's deep drive to left-center was snared by center fielder George Springer, who made a terrific leaping catch at the wall to rob Frazier of extra bases with two on and one out. Verlander escaped his final inning unscathed and Houston went on to a 7-1 win to force a deciding Game 7 on Saturday in the ALCS presented by Camping World.

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Rhett Bollinger has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees-Astros ALCS Game 6: In Real Life

Yankees-Astros ALCS Game 6: In Real Life

The Astros defeated the Yankees, 7-1, on Friday night in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, pushing the series to a decisive Game 7 tonight (8 p.m. ET/FS1) in Houston.

ALCS Game 7: Tonight, 8 p.m. ET on FS1

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DYK? Records fall in raucous ALCS Game 6

DYK? Records fall in raucous ALCS Game 6

The home team had won all five games of the 2017 American League Championship Series, entering Friday night, and the Astros needed to hold serve to keep their season alive.

In front of a raucous crowd at Houston's Minute Maid Park, the Astros did just that -- in emphatic fashion.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Yanks lean on veterans to guide young core

Yanks lean on veterans to guide young core

HOUSTON -- The Baby Bombers are all the rage these days.

Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Luis Severino have Yankees fans dreaming about a "Core Four" sequel, one they're hoping will land in next week's Fall Classic.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masa-zero! Yanks blank Astros, lead ALCS 3-2

Masa-zero! Yanks blank Astros, lead ALCS 3-2

NEW YORK -- The Yankees recognized that they would have to find a way to defeat Dallas Keuchel or Justin Verlander in order to advance, and they attacked that challenge head on. Having toppled one of the Astros' aces to move within one win of the 41st World Series in franchise history, they will now focus their attention on the other.

The Bombers' new core of Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius all contributed run-scoring hits to back Masahiro Tanaka's dominant effort as the Yankees remained unbeaten at home this postseason, defeating the Astros, 5-0, in Wednesday's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masa's gem has Yanks Tanaka'n on WS door

Veteran adds 7 frames of 3-hit ball to dominant stretch for righty at Stadium

Masa's gem has Yanks Tanaka'n on WS door

NEW YORK -- There have been a few test drives this season in which Masahiro Tanaka has raised his game to a new level, like a motorist pushing the accelerator on an open highway, just to see if the car can handle it. He did it once in Boston in April by tossing a shutout, having felt slighted as an underdog against Chris Sale, and again in a long-awaited matchup against fellow countryman Yu Darvish in June (eight innings, nine strikeouts).

They served as excellent preparation, with Tanaka continuing to savor the playoff excitement that prompted him to select New York as his landing spot more than three years ago. By outdueling Dallas Keuchel for a 5-0 win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, Tanaka's Yankees are on the precipice of their first World Series since 2009.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Keuchel conquered, sky's the limit for Yankees

New York needed to solve nemesis before being able to take next step

Keuchel conquered, sky's the limit for Yankees

NEW YORK -- For the Red Sox to break their decades-long curse, they had to get past the Yankees. Ditto with Michael Jordan's Bulls, who couldn't start a dynasty until they beat the Pistons' "Bad Boys" team.

Duke had to get past UNLV. The Oilers had to beat the Islanders. Rocky had to defeat Apollo.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dynamic duo: Judge, Sanchez fueling Yanks

Sluggers deliver clutch hits in Game 5 victory over Astros

Dynamic duo: Judge, Sanchez fueling Yanks

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez are getting hot at the perfect time, and the Yankees are on the verge of heading to the World Series for the first time since 2009 after a 5-0 win over the Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.

The Yanks, who took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, were buoyed by an RBI double from Judge and a solo homer from Sanchez.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Headley hits spot for Yanks' hungry offense

Designated hitter breaks out by logging 3 hits from 9-hole

Headley hits spot for Yanks' hungry offense

NEW YORK -- Unlike most American League clubs with potent offenses, the Yankees do not rely heavily on the designated hitter. As proof, they had DH Chase Headley batting ninth for Game 5 of the AL Championship Series on Wednesday. Three hits from Headley later -- along with some powerful pitching from Masahiro Tanaka -- the Yanks had a 5-0 victory over the Astros and are one win away from going to the Fall Classic.

"I couldn't be happier for the guy," teammate Todd Frazier said. "That's why we have a team. We play as a team. We are not focusing where we are hitting. We are just worried about doing what we are supposed to do."

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Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and does a podcast, Newsmakers. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Keuchel makes history, but Yankees solve him

Lefty fans eight but yields four runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 5

Keuchel makes history, but Yankees solve him

NEW YORK -- The Yankees knew all about their dismal numbers against Astros ace and 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel heading into his critical Game 5 start in the AL Championship Series on Wednesday.

Keuchel entered with a career 1.09 ERA in eight outings against the Yankees, including two in the postseason, with 62 strikeouts and eight walks in 57 2/3 innings. It was the lowest ERA all-time among pitchers with at least 50 innings against New York. So Yanks players put it upon themselves to flip that narrative with a better approach against the lefty, and they did just that in a 5-0 victory that has them up 3-2 in the ALCS presented by Camping World and one win away from their first Fall Classic since 2009.

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Rhett Bollinger has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez homers after studying chart in dugout

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Sanchez homers after studying chart in dugout

The phrase "student of the game" is often thrown out there in reference to any professional athlete, as adapting and learning new things is an important element for success. 

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has done a lot of fast learning on the fly since making his debut in the Bronx in 2015, swatting homers with ease and helping the #BabyBombers move to just a game from a World Series berth -- which they accomplished with a 5-0 win over the Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World on Wednesday.

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DYK? Facts from Wednesday's LCS action

Yankees' Tanaka, Cubs' Arrieta step up with terrific starts

DYK? Facts from Wednesday's LCS action

It was a good night for the home teams Wednesday as the Yankees continued to dominate at Yankee Stadium and the Cubs kept their hopes of a repeat alive by avoiding an National League Championship Series sweep at Wrigley Field.

Behind a splendid start from right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and plenty of run support, the Yankees moved to 6-0 at home this postseason with a 5-0 win in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World. They took a 3-2 series lead and have now won 19 of their last 22 games in the Bronx, although advancing to the World Series will require winning either Game 6 or 7 at Minute Maid Park.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Masahiro Tanaka's split-finger was in fine form as he dominated the Astros in ALCS Game 5

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Masahiro Tanaka's split-finger was in fine form as he dominated the Astros in ALCS Game 5

 The Yankees have stormed back from a 2-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World to take a 3-2 lead -- beating the Astros, 5-0, on Wednesday night. 

While some of the credit belongs to the Yankees bats -- especially as Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have rediscovered their strokes -- the pitching deserves plenty of plaudits, too. Perhaps no one looked sharper than Masahiro Tanaka and his magical splitter. 

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