Astros: Three Roster Bubble Questions for the ALCS

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-David Robertson came out of the bullpen in the fifth to give NY the first 2 2/3 innings of 4 2/3 innings of no-hit relief.

Most of the rest of New York's regulars are young players coming of age. However, as it seemed like the Cubs would come away with game two as they had a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Washington unraveled the faults in their bullpen as outfielder Bryce Harper crushed a towering two-run homer to tie the game, followed by first basemen Ryan Zimmerman hitting a go-ahead, three-run blast later to make it 6-3 Nationals, which would be the final score.

Other key Yankees contributors were in different uniforms a year ago. Nothing embodied the way these Yankees never yield like that. NY was down 0-2 in the five-game series, but avoided elimination three times. It has looked into the abyss. After the tense five games in the ALDS, I'm not sure NY is going to come out firing here.

Girardi said of his team, "They picked me up". The Astros have repeatedly said over the last six weeks how badly they want to win the World Series to bring some joy to a city devastated by flooding and high winds.

SeatGeek spokesman Chris Leyden said several thousand tickets are available across the stadium but that website officials noted what he described as a huge buying surge after the Yankees-Indians game ended. "We have what it takes". At this point, it may come down to matchups with the Yankees. After Boston won four straight elimination games, they didn't lose again en route to the World Series title.

Rotation: Dallas Keuchel remains the ace of Houston's staff, even with the addition of Justin Verlander.

Infield defense: The Astros are strong around the diamond, with Correa among the best shortstops in the game.

In the teams' regular-season meetings, Houston won five of seven, all waged before July 1. Judge has struggled mightily since his record-setting performance at the Home Run Derby. Don't think the Yankees won't be.

The Yankees will be going with RHP Sonny Gray in Game 1 of the ALCS.

Joe Girardi has four relievers-Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman-that can change a game when one of New York's starters is in trouble. But the best remaining bullpen in the AL shapes up well. For Houston, it is the relentless, energetic 5-6 Jose Altuve; for the Bronx Bombers, it's the towering power of 6-7 Aaron Judge. The question in this series is whether the Astros are the better team now.



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