The Yankees - on their death bed - have opened their eyes.
Under fire from fans and media for a couple of key decisions against Cleveland that went wrong in the AL Division Series last week, Girardi was booed by a packed Yankee Stadium crowd during Game 3 introductions Sunday night. Aroldis Chapman nailed down the win, sweating out a five-out save to help the Yankees live for another day.
If he were dropped from the roster now, he would be ineligible for the American League Championship Series shouldÂ the Indians advance.
Should the Yankees win, Game 4 of the ALDS will be played on Monday, October 9 in NY at 7pm ET on FS1. He won't have to worry about it if the Indians win Game 3 on October 8.
"We need him to pitch like he pitched the other day, where he was - I think he had 15 strikeouts in the game", Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Tanaka. Right-hander Josh Tomlin will likely take hill for the Indians.
Fast-forward to Sunday night and Bird's team-leading second homer this postseason.
Greg Bird's moon shot homerun in the seventh inning provided the jolt on offense.
Bird knew it was gone. He was named a Freshman All-American and finished with 13 home runs, 82 RBI, and batted over.300 in his Tennessee career. Miller, whom the Yankees traded last season, looked dejected. The Tribe didn't have much going after that and the Yankees took advantage.
A splitter has to be one of the toughest pitches to hit when it's effective. It dipped. It darted. It allowed Kipnis to leg out a triple, but he was stranded at third.
Tanaka beared down and fanned No. 3 batter Jose Ramirez and Bruce, then turned to shout and slapped his mitt in excitement.
Judge redeemed himself in the sixth inning. Cleveland star, Francisco Lindor crushed a 1-0 pitch for a grand slam, bringing the Indians within 8-7. Tanaka had a 1.24 WHIP with 194 strikeouts in 178 1/3 regular season innings.
Chapman was called on early when it looked like the Indians might scrape together some momentum in the eighth inning. Then in the ninth, he put runners on first and second base with one out.
After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Gray came inside with a 0-1 fastball and Bruce got around on it.
Speaking to reporters, Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez [VIDEO] said he was sure Lonnie Chisenhall was not hit by Chad Green's pitch. The Indians showed yet again that they can beat teams in numerous ways, including making the right trades. After his return August 26, he went deep eight times and slashed.253/.316/.575 in 29 games, winning back the everyday first-base job. With an opportunity to save the Yankees season and an incredible overall team performance, Girardi decides not to challenge the call and the rest is history. The Indians had every reason to believe his success would continue Friday.