Aaron Judge, Yankees Erase 4-Run Deficit to Stun Astros and Even ALCS at 2

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17:  Aaron Judge #99 and Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees celebrate after scoring on a two-run go-ahead double by Gary Sanchez #24 during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in Game Four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

It seems you just can't put the New York Yankees away.

Down 4-0 in the seventh inning Tuesday night, the Yankees fought back to earn a 6-4 Game 4 win over the Houston Astros. Both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez came through with a clutch hit during the four-run eighth inning.

Didi Gregorius immediately showed his excitement after the game:

New York had fallen behind 2-0 for the second series in a row, but the American League Championship Series is now tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven battle.

Judge, who broke out of a postseason slump with a home run in Game 3, put the Yankees on the board with this seventh-inning bomb:

Gregorius tripled and scored in the seventh before an eighth-inning rally gave the home team its first lead of the night. Judge tied the game with a double, and Sanchez hit a go-ahead two-run double:

Judge, Gregorius and Sanchez combined to go 5-for-10 with four runs and five RBI, with all of the production coming after the sixth inning.

The Astros bullpen simply couldn't contain the middle of the Yankees order as four pitchers combined to allow five runs in just two innings. Closer Ken Giles gave up two runs and took the loss.

Aroldis Chapman had no such trouble, closing out the game with a 1-2-3 inning.

Evan Roberts of WFAN summed up the attitude from the Yankees:

Though you wouldn't know it from the final score, this was a pitchers' duel for the first half of the night.

Each starter was looking for redemption after a poor showing in the ALDS, and both Lance McCullers Jr. and Sonny Gray kept early runs off the board.

While many were surprised by the solid efforts, Joe Trezza of MLB.com explained the cause:

McCullers had been awful in the second half of the year but showed his true talent with six innings of one-run ball and two hits allowed for Houston. Gray, a trade deadline acquisition, finished with two runs and just one hit allowed in five innings for the Yankees.

The pitchers kept it scoreless through five innings, but that changed when Gray was pulled with two runners on in the sixth. Frank Thomas of Fox Sports questioned the managerial decision:

Three batters later, Yuli Gurriel drove home three runs on a bases-clearing double off David Robertson:

Two of the runs were charged to Gray, who now has 21.1 postseason innings in his career with zero runs of support, per Manny Randhawa of MLB.com.

It seemed the Yankees were just biding their time, as all the damage came in the last few innings. Judge's home run was the first of six unanswered runs to close the game. 

Wednesday's Game 5 will take place once again in Yankee Stadium, where New York is 5-0 this postseason.

The pitching matchup should be a rematch of Game 1 between Dallas Keuchel and Masahiro Tanaka.


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