For the second time in three years, the New York Yankees are heading to the ALCS.
On a night when the lights flickered in the Yankees’ clubhouse pregame, the Bombers put the lights out on the Twins’ season, winning 5-1 and finishing off the three-game sweep at Target Field in Minnesota.
Minnesota faced a power outage of their own on Monday, scoring one run in the game, coming on an Eddie Rosario home run in the eighth inning. The Twins had nine hits on the night and left 10 runners on base and scored seven runs total in three games vs. the Yankees.
With the Yankees advancing to the ALCS and awaiting their opponent, here are some quick takeaways from their series win over Minnesota.
No more heroes
The Yankees did something pretty miraculous this ALDS: swept the series without having a “hero.”
Postseason heroes are rampant, right? Teams lean on them all the time. In fact, here’s a list of unlikely World Series heroes.
We’re not even there yet, though, and the Yankees went the entire series firing on all cylinders from Game 1 on. From starting pitching to the bullpen, the lineup and down, this was a total team effort for three games. There hasn’t been any one guy who’s done the heavy lifting for the Yankees, and that should be very encouraging for the franchise.
No stats, no fancy numbers, no WAR or xwOBA or exit velocity. Just 25 dudes playing well from top to bottom.
That’s a scary prospect for the team they’ll face in the ALCS.
Gleyber Torres is 22 … and so is Luis Arraez
There was some question as to whether Luis Arraez was going to make the Twins’ roster for the ALDS because of an injured ankle. But he did, and he announced his presence with authority.
Save the Taylor Swift, but both Arraez and his New York counterpart Gleyber Torres are 22 years old. Arraez, barely a Twins top prospect, hit four doubles in the ALDS after not knowing whether he’d be on the roster. Torres did a lot of his own work, too, hitting a double and a home run Monday with four RBIs in the series.
Arraez didn’t exactly get the prospect fanfare that Torres got — he was a consensus top five prospect across the sport — but he’s certainly performed like a guy who wants to stick at the major league level and has proved a lot of scouting reports wrong in the process. During the regular season, Arraez hit .334 with a 123 OPS+ in 94 games. Very respectable numbers.
Who knows what the future holds for Arraez, and whether he’s a part of the future for the Twins. But if this postseason is any snapshot of what he can be, then why not see him in a Twins uniform to start next season?
It’s a bittersweet end to the season for Arraez and his teammates, but he’s got nothing to be ashamed of as the offseason dawns on Minnesota.
Ready to start
Yankees starting pitching in this serious certainly showed up. Among James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, New York starters went 14 2/3 innings while allowing four runs and striking out 19 batters.
With starting pitching a re-emerging theme in the postseason this year, the Yankees have gotten just about everything they could ask for from their three starters, even though question marks surrounded them heading in: What would Luis Severino be? James Paxton hadn’t made a postseason start in his career. Masahiro Tanaka had an up-and-down season despite his postseason reputation, and Severino made just three starts in the regular season before taking the ball in Game 3.
If the Yankees’ pitching formula is to go as planned, New York will continue to need solid outings from the starting pitchers come the ALCS. A bullpen like the Yankees’ can be a dangerous weapon, but if they’re pitching out of holes it’s going to be a tough ask, even for this lineup.
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