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Yankees hope to thrive in one more elimination game

For most of their postseason, the New York Yankees have been playing with their backs against the wall. And while most teams cave to the pressure, the Yankees have thrived.

Tonight, the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians will play one more elimination game; the winner moves on to the American League Championship Series. The loser goes home.

As the Yankees prepare for their fourth do-or-die game, let’s look back on their last three elimination games.

Tuesday, October 4
Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees
Final: Yankees 8, Twins 4

In their first elimination game, the Yankees were already in a 3-0 hole in the bottom of the first. Luis Severino was only able to go a third of an inning, and for a moment it seemed like the Yankees were on their way to a quick playoff exit. However, Didi Gregorius immediately tied the game in the home half of the first on a three-run homer. Brett Gardner added a homer of his own to give the Yankees the lead and Aaron Judge later went yard.

Chad Green was able to hold off the Twins, but the star on the mound was David Robertson, who not only tied his career-high in innings, but also had a career high in pitches thrown.

Sunday, October 8
Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees
Final: Yankees 1, Indians 0

The Yankees faced their second elimination game on Sunday night after a debacle on Friday. The Yankees were up 8-3 on Friday until Joe Girardi yanked CC Sabathia too early, and left Chad Green and David Robertson in too long. The Yankees ultimately lost 9-8 in 13 innings, which put them in a 2-0 hole.

On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka took the hill and faced off against Carlos Carrasco. For the first time this postseason, there was a serious pitching duel. But the scoreless streak was broken in the seventh inning on a solo-shot by Greg Bird. Despite a heart pounding ninth inning by Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees closed the book and lived to play another day.

Monday, October 9
Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees
Final: Yankees 7, Indians 3

For the second night in a row, and for the third time this postseason, the Yankees were once again staving off elimination. This time, the Yankees faced Trevor Bauer, who had their number in Game 1. However, things didn’t go as smoothly for Bauer in Game 4. He only lasted 1.2 innings and gave up four unearned runs.

After a disastrous start in the Wild Card game, Luis Severino redeemed himself, pitching seven strong innings before handing the ball to Dellin Betances. Betances was pulled after allowing two walks, but Tommy Kahnle quickly mopped up and helped the Yankees force a Game 5.

The stakes are high for the Yankees, but if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that this team does not quit. They’re one game away from meeting the Houston Astros in the ALCS. But they’re also one loss away from ending their season.

The Yankees have been this postseason’s Cinderella team. Do they have enough magic to pull out one more elimination win?

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