HOUSTON -- After their disheartening 2-1 walk-off loss to the Astros in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World on Saturday, the Yankees find themselves in a familiar position, down two games to none for a second straight series.But New York overcame that deficit against
HOUSTON -- After their disheartening 2-1 walk-off loss to the Astros in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World on Saturday, the Yankees find themselves in a familiar position, down two games to none for a second straight series.
But New York overcame that deficit against the Indians in the five-game AL Division Series presented by Doosan with three straight wins, so the Yankees will look to draw on that experience when the series heads back to the Bronx for Game 3 on Monday. History, though, still isn't on their side; of the 28 teams that have fallen behind 0-2 in the LCS since 1985, only the 2004 Red Sox, 1985 Royals and '85 Cardinals have advanced.
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"We have a whole lot of baseball left to play with a seven-game series," said left fielder Brett Gardner. "We're going back home. We've played really well at home all year, especially recently. We haven't lost a playoff game there yet. Hopefully we can keep that streak going."
As Gardner noted, the Yankees are tough to beat in New York, as their 51 home wins led the AL and only the Dodgers and D-backs won at least 50 games at home. They also beat the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game on Oct. 3 and won ALDS Games 3 and 4 against the Indians last week.
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"I know our heads will be held up high," said third baseman Todd Frazier, who drove in New York's lone run on a ground-rule double that got lodged in the left-field fence in the fifth inning. "It's another tough game, losing Game 2. But we have more opportunities now. We're excited to be playing at home. I know our fans are going to be ready to go and be loud. It's going to be a different story at our place."
The Yanks have pitched well this series, allowing only four combined runs, but they've scored just twice while striking out 27 times in two games. They were shut down by a pair of former Cy Young Award winners, with Dallas Keuchel striking out 10 batters over seven scoreless innings in Game 1 and Justin Verlander punching out 13 in a complete game in Game 2.
"They're both tough to swallow," Frazier said. "We know what we're capable of. It's just going to take one thing and one little spark to get us going. I think in two days we're going to find that."
The Yankees will look to find that spark against right-hander Charlie Morton on Monday, but even he struck out 163 batters in 146 2/3 innings while posting a 3.62 ERA this season. So it won't get much easier for New York, but the confidence remains high despite the rough start to the series.
"The beautiful thing about baseball is we have another one," said Yanks slugger Aaron Judge. "We just have to continue to play our game. We've faced some tough pitchers ... but this is a team that battles. We don't give up so we're going to keep fighting."
The Astros know the series isn't over yet either, especially after letting the 2015 ALDS slip away with two straight losses to the Royals despite a 2-1 lead. Former Yankees catcher Brian McCann said he's expecting an electric atmosphere in the Bronx, and he knows his team can't let up.
"It's going to be awesome," McCann said. "They're going to be loud. We took care of business at home, and now we need to go on the road and continue to play good baseball. The Yanks are a team that has been here before, so we need to continue to play good baseball and show up and expect to win."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.