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Astros-Yanks ALCS Game 4: In Real Life

October 17, 2017

The Yankees rallied from four runs down to beat the Astros, 6-4, in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World. The victory evened the series at two games was on the scene in and around Yankee Stadium.8:44 p.m. ET: Chapman closes the door Their

The Yankees rallied from four runs down to beat the Astros, 6-4, in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World. The victory evened the series at two games apiece. was on the scene in and around Yankee Stadium.
8:44 p.m. ET: Chapman closes the door
Their comeback completed, their fortunes reversed, the Yankees called on closer Albertin Chapman to lock down the ninth. Chapman had little trouble, striking out two over a perfect frame to ensure this series went into Game 5 tied.

Video: ALCS Gm4: Chapman gets the save, Yankees even series

8:17 p.m. ET: Yankees roar back to take lead in the eighth
The Yankees swung the calculus of this ALCS in one inning, scoring four in the eighth to storm back and take a late 6-4 lead in Game 4. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were at the center of New York's dramatic, potentially season-saving, rally. Judge's RBI double tied the game at 4-4, then Sanchez's two-bagger put the Yankees ahead, 6-4, and chased Houston closer Ken Giles, who recorded one out and allowed three hits.

7:38 p.m. ET: Judge's jolt gets Yanks on board
With one swing of the bat, the Yankees got on the scoreboard and chased Astros starter Lance McCullers in the seventh. The blast came from -- who else -- Aaron Judge, who cranked his second homer in as many games, this one a 427-foot shot to dead center, per Statcast™. Judge's solo shot left the bat 111.6 mph, per Statcast™, making it the hardest-hit home run of this postseason so far. Didi Gregorius followed with a triple on reliever Chris Devenski's second pitch and came home on Gary Sanchez's sac fly to make it 4-2. More >>

7:28 p.m. ET: Astros add on after error
Houston added another run in the seventh off Yankees reliever Chad Green. Marwin Gonzalez lined a one-out double, then scored when Starlin Castro couldn't handle a Brian McCann grounder. Castro's second error of the night gave the Astros a 4-0 lead. 

7:19 p.m. ET: McCullers stays lights out

7:09 p.m. ET: Yuli, like the way you look
The Astros finally broke through in the sixth inning, scoring three runs off Sonny Gray and reliever Player Page for David Robertson. Gray allowed the first two batters to reach on a walk and a catcher's interference before Yankees manager Joe Girardi replaced him with Robertson, who walked Jose Altuve and struck out Carlos Correa with the bases loaded. The next batter, Yuli Gurriel, rocketed a three-run double down the left-field line, breaking the scoreless tie. More >>

6:45 p.m. ET: We've got ourselves a duel
Game 4 is beginning to resemble Game 1 and Game 2 of this series, when runs were hard to come by and pitching ruled. Neither starter, Lance McCullers Jr. and Sonny Gray, allowed a run through five innings. They're doing it in different ways -- McCullers throwing an unusually high percentage of curves and Gray using his fastball nearly 75 percent of the time. Both are throwing their best pitches more than they did on average during the regular season.

6:29 p.m. ET: Not your average double play
Aaron Judge's leadoff walk gave the Yankees a baserunner in the fourth, but they were left without a run after a wacky play ended the inning. With one out and Gary Sanchez at the plate, Judge took off for second. Sanchez flew out to right fielder Josh Reddick, whose return throw to first seemed to double off Judge. Though Judge was ruled safe after a Yankees challenge, the Astros simultaneously realized Judge didn't re-touch second after passing it on his way back to first.
The Astros had to wait until the ball was live again to appeal the play. Judge realized this, and -- at the urging of manager Joe Girardi from the dugout -- broke for second before Lance McCullers Jr. could appeal or throw another pitch. McCullers stepped off and threw to second, where Judge was tagged out. More >>

6:17 p.m. ET: Gray bails out Castro

6:05 p.m. ET: Scoreless through three
Todd Frazier gave the Yankees their first hit with a bloop single to center in the third, but Lance McCullers Jr. stranded him at second to to keep the game scoreless. Both McCullers and Sonny Gray are doing a good job of keeping the ball on the ground early, inducing a combined 11 groundouts over the first three frames. 

5:45 p.m. ET: Starters trade scoreless second innings
The game remained scoreless through two innings, with Sonny Gray and Lance McCullers Jr. both keeping hitters off-balance with an array of sharp breaking pitches early. McCullers, in particular, threw 50 percent curveballs over the first two frames, over which he struck out two and didn't allow a hit. Carlos Beltran's second-inning double off Gray provided the game's first hit, but Gray stranded Beltran to keep Houston off the board.

5:23 p.m. ET: McCullers matches Gray
It feels like fall in New York, with a first-pitch temperature of 58 degrees expected to slowly decrease throughout the night. That didn't stop fans in pinstriped hoodies and scarves from warming up a packed Yankee Stadium in time for the game's scoreless first inning, over which starters Sonny Gray and Lance McCullers Jr. tossed a hitless frame apiece.

5:09 p.m. ET: Gray gets underway
Yankees starter Sonny Gray induced a groundout from George Springer -- which scattered a group of pigeons as it scooted across the infield -- for the first out of Game 4.

3:54 p.m. ET: Need for seeds
Someone in the Yankees' bullpen is tossing gum and full bags of sunflower seeds into the bleachers to the great delight of fans.

3:30 p.m. ET: Plaza party
Rockefeller Center Plaza will host a special screening of Game 4 tonight in the heart of New York City.

3:20 p.m. ET: Big wigs
Two Aaron Judge fans look distinguished decked out in robes and wigs for Game 4.

3:08 p.m. ET: Early Breg gets the worm
Alex Bregman is the first Astro on the field for warmups ahead of Game 4. This is what every player wants to be.

2:58 p.m. ET: Sanchez speaks
Gary Sanchez, who's DHing for the first time this postseason, answers questions during batting practice for Game 4. 

2:57 p.m. ET: "Gotta support the team"
Like a certain famous sitcom face painter, this family of Yankees fans is all about showing up for the home team.

2:55 p.m. ET: Judge gets in his cuts

2:40 p.m. ET: Queue train
Fans line up more than two hours before first pitch outside Gate 6 at Yankee Stadium for Game 4. 

2:16 p.m. ET: Hinch: Lance has his chance

1:40 p.m. ET: Astros all set for Game 4
After Alex Bregman was bumped up to the two-hole against lefty starter Carsten Sabathia on Monday, Houston manager A.J. Hinch will hit his young third baseman sixth for Game 4 opposite right-handed starter Sonny Gray. Left fielder Marwin Gonzalez, who hasn't registered a hit yet in nine at-bats in the ALCS, will bat eighth.

• Astros, Yankees set ALCS Game 4 lineups
1:24 p.m. ET: The height of humor
Houston TV station KHOU set up a Jose Altuve cutout outside Yankee Stadium after a reporter and cameraman from the station "boldly" transported it on the subway. They said they want to have some good-natured fun with Yankees fans while tipping their cap to the Astros' diminutive second baseman.

1:05 p.m. ET: Yanks start Sanchez at DH for Game 4
Yankees catcher Austin Romine will make his first postseason start and bat ninth, while Gary Sanchez, who was behind the plate on Monday night, will be the DH out of the cleanup spot for today's late afternoon tilt. Manager Joe Girardi made his decision based on Romine's catcher's ERA numbers with Game 4 starter Sonny Gray, who works heavily down in the strike zone. 
In three starts with Romine, Gray had a 1.45 ERA and .543 OPS against. In eight regular-season starts with Sanchez, he had a 4.63 ERA and .767 OPS against.
"Sometimes it just happens," Girardi said. "Sometimes I can't explain why one catcher mixes with a pitcher a little bit better. To me, it also gives Sanchez a little break here. Sonny has tended to rough him up a little bit and beat him up physically. And this time of year I don't want our catchers so beat up it affects everything."