This was vintage stuff. A late start on Friday after two Met wins in the other bracket, was watched by the remaining players, fiance’s, neighbors, and others. It was the 16 year old Murr against the 13 season vet Gadani. Coming into this, Murr had never started a playoff game and had only played in one game in the playoffs the previous two seasons. Gadani coming in was 23-15 in the postseason and 6 for 6 in save opps. He’s a master in the postseason and his never been shy in the spotlight moments whether it’s on offense or on the hill. This is the guy that has had the only, walk-off, world series ending home run, and in a game 9! Game 1 started with vintage rosters. You had Gadani, Jorge, Manny K, Mike, and Kean facing off. These players have played each other a few times in the playoffs and know how to battle. The kid didn’t seem flustered in his first inning of work. In fact, he blanked the Pirates for the first, four innings. The Yankees struck first with four runs in the second with a three-run home run from Mike and a single from Kean. The Yankees didn’t look back from there as Murr made the Pirates walk the plank. No one said anything but, Murr got to the sixth inning without giving up a hit. One play in the fourth could’ve ended up a hit but it was glanced over due to the Yankees opening up with more runs later on and led 7-1 going into the 7th. Murr then struck out the side and pitched the second no-hitter of the day proceeding Josh Camp’s perfect game joining him and Mike as the only three pitchers with a no-hitter in the postseason.
The momentum was shut down though as the late starts, and long games, postponed game 2 to Sunday…
Game 2 had the classic father-son matchup which has been going on for 20 seasons. The old man though, had the Yankees number. He pitched his first complete postseason shutout. The Pirates did it with 4 runs in the first off two, two run singles from Jorge and Manny. The 14+ year vets sealed it for the Pirates in game 2. Jorge also picked up six K’s along the way as the Pirates never looked back and raised the Jolly Roger.
Game 3 came as a must win scenario for the Yankees. Low on players (only 2) with only Alen and Mike to get through. They’ve been dealing with this problem all year with an inconsistent attendance. With no Kean and no Murr, the Yankees have been a different team this year and coming off a shutout loss, Alen needed to prove a point on the hill. The Pirates struck first off of a throwing error in the second. The Yanks had a quick talk before returning to bat in the bottom of the second. The Yankees then opened up with 6 runs to go up 6-2. The Pirates kept sneaking in runs every other inning and with Gadani coming in, it didn’t look good. An intentional walk to Mike the night before led to Alen getting a two run double. This time, he took Gadani deep after an intentional walk. From there the Yankees could let Alen go the distance to an 11-6 win with some good defense and 7K’s from Alen.
Game 4 you could say was supposed to happen on Sunday but with only two guys, the Yankees took a gamble. A long break between games and the Yankees now up 2-1 was definitely going to make for an interesting game. Mike returned to the hill after pitching good enough to win in Game 2 but getting out schooled by his old man left him short. The Pirates took an early lead once again and led 3-0 in the third before the Yankees finally came through against Jorge with two homers from Alen and Mike. The Yanks then tied it and went ahead in the fourth with two more runs being added. Yanks led 5-3 but the Pirates brought in Gadani and kept it close. The Pirates in the sixth loaded the bases with no outs and it looked as though they were going to get back in it. Mike came back with two K’s to get out of it and take it to the bottom of the sixth. The Yankees then “nickled and dimed” five insurance runs in to go up 10-3. Mike then came in to K, Kyle and Jorge to send the Yankees back to the World Series where they wait for the Mets-Rockies series to finish.
It was great to see a lot of old faces and then have the “newer faces” get to be part of the nostalgia in Kyle and Alen. The Mets and Rockies got to see it as well and with all the games last year and this year played, it’s beginning to look a lot like the old days but with so much more involvement. It has come a long way and the playoffs have only just begun. Can’t wait to see how the Mets-Rockies series unfolds and then the winner will play a best of nine against the Yankees.