By Megan Rule | Opinion Editor
Baseball fan or not, the American League Championship Series (ALCS) has been quite a series of games. With the fifth game wrapping up Wednesday night, the underdog New York Yankees are leading the favored Houston Astros 3-2.
As a New Yorker, I’ve had a bit of hostility toward me this week as I wear my pinstripes proudly.
Beginning last Friday, I had been told that I was “wearing the wrong jersey” and I “should just give up hope now.” But with the turn of events on Monday, what started as jokes turned into me making enemies, because the New York Yankees have a chance now.
If the Astros really are “the best team in baseball,” then the Yankees must be real close to taking that title away because they have given Houston a run for its money. Even the first two games that Houston won were not won easily, as both games were only one run victories for the Astros.
The final two games of the series will wrap up in Houston this weekend, that is if Houston can force a decisive game seven.
Let’s take a look at what has really helped the Yankees and why this team and their lead shouldn’t be discounted.
The pinstripe pitchers have really been carrying the team on their backs. Even though Masahiro Tanaka took the loss in the game one, he only allowed two runs in six innings. He pitched again Wednesday night and did not allow a run.
CC Sabathia pitched six shutout innings Monday night to help propel the Yankees to an 8-1 victory in game three of the ALCS series, starting the three game winning streak.
These pitchers have done exactly what the Yankees needed by pitching like determined fighters in a life or death battle by keeping the Astros off the bases.
With each passing run New York put on the board, Houston seemed to lose more and more of its mojo. Momentum matters and just one pitch or one swing can shake things up. Of course the home-stadium advantage helped; having gone to Yankee Stadium a few times myself, I must admit that energy is toxic and addicting in all the best ways.
The Yankees have been putting up good defensive battles, which has proven to help. By tiring out the Astros’ offense and slowing down their hitters, the Yankees have been able to put up an equal battle that has kept them in the series this long. Every single game of this series has been a prime showing of really good baseball, fueling the New York youth and making them hungry for more victory.
And what would a re-cap of the series be without talking about the exciting home-runs?
Between the third baseman “Toddfather” Todd Frazier, right fielder “All Rise” Aaron Judge and catcher “El Kraken” Gary Sanchez, once the Yankees offense started working, the sparks were flying. Don’t count out the hits from shortstop Didi Gregorius and first baseman Greg Bird either, because their bats helped too.
The team that was once doubted is now swinging with reckless abandon with each hit serving as another crack heard around the world.
Personally, I’m a big proponent of sticking to your team through the ups and the downs. As friends bantered with me and told me to give up hope on the Bronx Bombers, I held strong in my love for my team.
Sure, maybe the underdogs don’t always make it this far. However, victory is not impossible.
Fan loyalty is so important to teams. Whether its MLB, NFL, NCAA or a high school team, stay true to your team through the highs and the lows. Only true fans are there through the bumps and only true fans appreciate the sunshine that comes after a rainstorm.
Don’t ever discount the underdog. If there’s anything my pinstriped heroes have shown us, besides some really good October fall ball, its the passion and heart that carries true champions through the post-season. This young, starry-eyed team is now one victory away from the potential of being the 41st American League pennant-winning team and collecting a 28th World Series title.
Here’s to the underdog making it this far. Here’s to a New York victory this weekend and here’s to a New York appearance in the 2018 World Series. Cheers to October baseball.