With the American League Championship Series beginning tomorrow, it gives us a moment to reflect back on the events of the American League Division Series. It gives us the opportunity to look back at those Yankees who were able to make an impact during the ALDS. But also those who must face a long offseason knowing their best was not displayed. These are those players. And be sure to look back at previous installments of this 3 Up and 3 Down series.
1 Up: Dellin Betances
In a complete 180 from his 2017 postseason campaign, Dellin Betances was one of the most reliable relievers for Aaron Boone and the Yankees. Betances would post an ERA of 1.69 in 5.1 innings spread across 3 games with 7 punch outs. When Dellin came into the game everyone had the confidence he would get through the inning without any major issues.
1 Down: Luis Severino
However, the staff “Ace” Luis Severino was not the same way. The dominance he showed in the AL Wildcard game was a mirror image of his 2018 first half. But his performance in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox was something that resembled Sevvy’s second-half struggles. A report came out from Jon Heyman on Thursday 10/11/18 that Severino was indeed tipping his pitches. Which would explain why the Red Sox hitters were feasting on Severino’s fastball, they knew it was coming. Nevertheless, it was these struggles that set the Yankees on a collision course for an exit from the playoffs. Luis Severino would finish the playoffs with 7 innings pitched, an ERA of 7.71 with 9 strikeouts.
2 Up: David Robertson
David “Houdini” Robertson has been a valuable piece in the Yankees bullpen through two different stints with the ballclub. And that included this postseason, in just 3.2 innings pitched this postseason D-Rob would strikeout 7. All while allowing no earned runs to cross the plate. Robertson is a free agent following the conclusion of the World Series and the Yanks will likely pursue another deal with the veteran righty reliever.
2 Down: CC Sabathia
Another would be free agent did not fair as well as David Robertson, and that man was CC Sabathia. CC managed to pitch only 3 innings of work in his only appearance in the 2018 postseason. Yet Sabathia would be on the hook for a 9.00 ERA. This is not the kind of outing that you want to have at 38 years old and entering free agency. Teams in MLB are looking for younger more athletic stars that can carry their franchises for the next ten years or so. CC is nearing the end of his career and unfortunately for this once great superstar, he may have thrown his final pitch in the MLB.
3 Up: Aaron Judge
Despite the bit of controversy following the game two win in Boston. Aaron Judge had a tremendous postseason. In 19 at-bats Judge would hit 3 home runs and hit for a batting average of .421. Aaron has shown that the moments don’t get too big for him when the lights shine brightest.
3 Down: JA Happ
Someone that the moment was seemingly too bright for however was JA Happ. Happ was brought in for the very reason of taking on the Boston Red Sox. But in his only start of the playoffs, Happ would pitch just 2 innings to the tune of an ERA of 22.50. Not exactly the Red Sox killer the Yankees thought they were getting. That being said during the regular season Happ did pitch well for the Yankees. He was arguably their best pitcher going down the stretch. And who knows what would have happened if the Yankees could have forced a Game 5. But looking at the last optics, just like with CC, they weren’t a good visual.
B.O.L.O on the Up: Masahiro Tanaka
This has been back to back seasons now were despite regular season struggles, Masahiro Tanaka would show he is unphased by the postseason pressure. In the Yankees only win of the ALDS, Tanaka would pitch 5 innings with 4 strikeouts and an ERA of just 1.80. Holding down baseball’s best offense in 2018 is no easy feat but would do just that allowing only 1 run.
B.O.L.O. Down- Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton was brought to New York for the postseason. He was brought in to provide the Yankees lineup with depth and a level of stability to force teams to choose Judge or Stanton. However, in Stanton’s first taste of postseason baseball, he struggled mightily.
Although the .238 batting average would say it was an ok postseason the 1 home run would not. Stanton was traded for by the Yankees for power. Stanton himself would force his way to New York (with his 10/5 trade veto power) to play in the postseason. But on the biggest stage and most crucial moments Stanton would be caught looking or swinging but not connecting. Stanton would strikeout (6) more than he would collect hits (4) this postseason. Stanton is going to be a Yankee for a long time and he will have time to redeem himself but this first postseason is a tough one to swallow.