Tanaka to start Game 1
Masahiro Tanaka will start Game 1 of the AL Championship Series for the New York Yankees against Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros on Friday night.
The Yankees announced the decision Thursday and also set the rotation for the next three games.
New York’s Luis Severino will pitch Game 2 on Saturday against Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia gets the nod to start Game 3 on Monday in New York, and Sonny Gray will start Game 4 on Tuesday.
The Astros have not announced their starters for Games 3 and 4. Indians shocked: The Cleveland Indians won 102 games in the regular season, strung together the AL’s longest winning streak ever and entered the postseason as the league’s top seed in a tournament where the madness can match anything that happens in March.
The postseason will go on without them after a 5-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the AL Division Series.
While All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and MVP candidate Jose Ramirez represent the team’s youthful core, the Indians have major offseason decisions to make with important veterans like outfielder Michael Brantley, pitcher Josh Tomlin and first baseman Carlos Santana. Jay Bruce, whose acquisition in an August trade made the club stronger, will hit the free agent market, as will dependable relievers Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith.
Brantley’s situation is the most delicate. The team has a $12 million contract option for 2018 but he’s been limited to 101 games over the past two seasons because of injuries.