Yankees vs. Astros: Six things to know as New York hands Houston rare home loss in ALCS Game 1

The New York Yankees defeated the Houston Astros, 7-0, in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night. The Yankees seized a 1-0 series lead and play Game 2 in Houston on Sunday night before heading to the Bronx for Games 3, 4 and 5.

Here are six things to know about Game 1.

1. Torres leads Yankees' offense

Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres can't be stopped. The 22-year-old continued his remarkable run this postseason. In Saturday's win, Torres drove in five of the Yankees' seven runs. And in the process, he joined some exclusive company.  

First, Torres knocked an RBI double off Zack Greinke to the gap in left field. DJ LeMahieu scored and the Yankees were the first to score, taking a 1-0 lead. 

Then, came Torres' solo home run in the sixth inning. Again off Greinke. The Yankees lead went to 2-0.

Torres hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh with two outs. Facing Astros reliever Ryan Preslley, he worked his way to a full count before getting a ball down in right-center field. And, finally Torres tacked on another RBI with aI groundout in the top of the ninth to score LeMahieu.

The Yankees' wunderkind has six extra bases hits this postseason, and his two home runs put Torres among some of the greats to wear pinstripes.

Torres will turn 23 in December, but he's already making a name for himself in the New York record books.

In the Yankees ALDS win over the Twins, Torres hit .417 (5-for-12) with three doubles, a home run and four RBI. He seems to be heading toward similar numbers for this ALCS.

2. Tanaka rises to the occasion 

The legend of playoff Masahiro Tanaka lived to go on another day with his performance on Saturday. Here's Tanaka's final line from (another) exceptional postseason start:

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Masahiro Tanaka NYY • SP • 19
IP6
H1
R0
BB1
K4

Entering Saturday, Tanaka's postseason stats were as followed:

  • 1.54 ERA
  • 0.80 WHIP
  • 32:8 K:BB
  • .164 BA
  • .492 OPP OPS

Tanaka was the Game 2 starter for the Yankees in the ALDS. He held the Twins to one run on three hits in five innings while striking out seven.

In 2017, Tanaka faced Houston twice in the ALCS, in Games 1 and 5. He complied a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings and he gave up just seven hits, two earned runs and struck out 11 while walking two.

3. A win at Minute Maid was huge for the Yankees

The Yankees got a crucial road win on Saturday. Including the postseason, the Astros are 63-21 at home this year. Houston set a franchise record with 60 wins at home during the regular season, winning 32 of their last 40 and became the first team to win 60 home games since the 1998 Yankees.

A win in Houston is huge for the Yankees. In the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees never had a lead in the four games in Houston, scoring a total of three runs in the four games. In Game 1 this season, they put up seven runs and picked up the rare win at Minute Maid Park.

4. Greinke still looking for first playoff win since 2015

Astros starter Zack Greinke finished his night after six innings. He gave up three earned runs and seven hits while striking out six and walking none. It was a decent bounce back when you consider his last start this postseason, in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays, in which he gave up six earned runs (three homers) in just 3 2/3 innings.

The right-hander is still looking for his first postseason win since 2015 when he won with the Dodgers in their NLDS Game 2 win over the Mets.

5. Stanton contributes with homer

Giancarlo Stanton has had a bit of lost 2019 season because of his injury battles this season. The outfielder played in just 18 regular season games, but has managed to stay healthy enough to play in each of New York's four postseason games this year. 

In the sixth inning of Saturday's Game 1 win, Stanton launched a solo home run to right-center field off Zack Greinke. His first blast since Sept. 27 increased the Yankees' lead to 3-0.

6. Judge shows off arm

Aaron Judge snagged a hard-hit line drive hit by Astros standout rookie Yordan Alvarez, and then fired a perfect throw to first base to double off Alex Bregman. The fifth-inning double play cut out any chance of an Astros rally.


Historically speaking, visiting teams with a 1-0 lead have gone 43-30 in MLB best-of-seven series. More specifically, teams that win Game 1 of the ALCS are 30-19 all-time. The Yankees will want to aim for another road win at Minute Maid in Game 2, because visiting teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in best-of-seven series have gone 23-3 in the series.

The Yankees will send out left-hander James Paxton to face Astros right-hander Justin Verlander for Sunday's Game 2 at Minute Maid Park which is set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). The full postseason schedule can be found here.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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