2017 American League Championship Series

The 2017 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees for the American League pennant and the right to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. The Astros defeated the Yankees in 7 games after falling behind 3 games to 2. The home team won every game in the series.

This was the first time in history that the ALCS and NLCS teams were from the four most populous U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.[1]

For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; this ALCS was sponsored by Camping World and was officially known as the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.[2][3]

The Astros would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in seven games, winning their first World Series championship in franchise history.

2017 American League Championship Series
2017ALCSlogo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Houston Astros (4) A. J. Hinch 101–61 (.623), 21 GA
New York Yankees (3) Joe Girardi 91–71 (.562), 2 GB
DatesOctober 13–21
MVPJustin Verlander (Houston)
UmpiresMark Carlson (Games 3–7), Gary Cederstrom (crew chief), Chad Fairchild (Games 1–2), Chris Guccione, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds, Hunter Wendelstedt
ALDS
Broadcast
TelevisionFS1 (Games 1, 3–7)
Fox (Game 2)
TV announcersJoe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci
RadioESPN
Radio announcersJon Sciambi and Chris Singleton

Background

The Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox 3–1 in the 2017 American League Division Series (ALDS).[4] This is the Astros' fifth appearance in a League Championship Series, and their first since transferring from the National League to the American League. Their only previous LCS win came in the 2005 National League Championship Series; they lost in 1980, 1986, and 2004. They are also the first AL West team to make it to the ALCS since 2011.

The Yankees upset the heavily-favored Cleveland Indians 3–2 in the ALDS to advance.[5] This is the Yankees' 16th appearance in the ALCS, and their second as a Wild Card. Their last ALCS appearance came in the 2012 American League Championship Series where they got swept by the Detroit Tigers. They had won in eleven of their previous fifteen appearances. This is the sixth straight year in which an AL East team has made it to the ALCS.

This was the second postseason match-up between these two teams, with the Astros defeating the Yankees in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium. This was also the first ALCS to not feature any American League Central Division teams since 2010.

Summary

Houston won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 13 New York Yankees – 1, Houston Astros – 2 Minute Maid Park 3:20 43,116[6] 
2 October 14 New York Yankees – 1, Houston Astros – 2 Minute Maid Park 3:00 43,193[7] 
3 October 16 Houston Astros – 1, New York Yankees – 8 Yankee Stadium 3:25 49,373[8] 
4 October 17 Houston Astros – 4, New York Yankees – 6 Yankee Stadium 3:37 48,804[9] 
5 October 18 Houston Astros – 0, New York Yankees – 5 Yankee Stadium 3:18 49,647[10] 
6 October 20 New York Yankees – 1, Houston Astros – 7 Minute Maid Park 3:23 43,179[11] 
7 October 21 New York Yankees – 0, Houston Astros – 4 Minute Maid Park 3:09 43,201[12]

Game summaries

Game 1

October 13, 2017 7:10 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
Houston 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 X 2 6 1
WP: Dallas Keuchel (1–0)   LP: Masahiro Tanaka (0–1)   Sv: Ken Giles (1)
Home runs:
NYY: Greg Bird (1)
HOU: None
Attendance: 43,116

In a pitcher's duel, Dallas Keuchel and Masahiro Tanaka allowed no runs through the first three innings before the Astros scored in the bottom of the fourth. José Altuve hit an infield single and stole second base, before Carlos Correa drove him in with an RBI single. Yuli Gurriel drove in Correa to give the Astros a 2–0 lead. Keuchel recorded ten strikeouts, allowing four hits and no runs in seven innings. Tanaka pitched six innings with three strikeouts and allowed two earned runs. Chad Green relieved Tanaka and threw two scoreless innings. Ken Giles was brought in with one out in the eighth for a five-out save. He struck out four of six but allowed a home run to Greg Bird before striking out Jacoby Ellsbury swinging to end the game. It was his second save of this postseason.[13]

Game 2

October 14, 2017 3:09 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
Houston 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 5 0
WP: Justin Verlander (1–0)   LP: Aroldis Chapman (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: None
HOU: Carlos Correa (1)
Attendance: 43,193

Justin Verlander threw a complete game, allowing one run and five hits while striking out 13. Carlos Correa opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a home run off of starter Luis Severino that barely scraped over the right field wall. It was reviewed for fan interference, as a child reached his glove over the wall in an attempt to catch it.[14] Todd Frazier answered for the Yankees in the fifth with an RBI ground-rule double that was lodged in the center-field fence after a two-out double by Aaron Hicks.[14] In the bottom of the ninth, José Altuve singled with one out off of Aroldis Chapman. Correa hit a walk-off double to right field, as Gary Sanchez did not field the ball cleanly at home plate and Altuve scored the winning run, giving the Astros a 2–0 series lead heading to New York.[15]

Game 3

October 16, 2017 8:09 pm (EDT) at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, 57 °F (14 °C), partly cloudy
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
New York 0 3 0 5 0 0 0 0 X 8 7 1
WP: CC Sabathia (1–0)   LP: Charlie Morton (0–1)
Home runs:
HOU: None
NYY: Todd Frazier (1), Aaron Judge (1)
Attendance: 49,373

In the bottom of the second inning, Todd Frazier opened the scoring with a three-run home run after two two-out singles off of Charlie Morton. The Yankees piled on five more runs in the fourth inning. After a leadoff ground-rule double and two-out walk, Chase Headley's RBI single made it 4–0 Yankees. A hit-by-pitch to Brett Gardner loaded the bases before Morton was relieved by Will Harris, who threw a wild pitch to let Frazier score before a three-run home run by Aaron Judge made it 8–0.[16] CC Sabathia did not allow a run in six innings pitched, striking out five. In the top of the ninth inning, Dellin Betances entered in relief only to walk the first two batters before getting pulled for Tommy Kahnle. A single by Cameron Maybin loaded the bases, then one out later, walk to Alex Bregman forced in a run, but Jose Altuve hit into the game-ending double play as the Yankees' won Game 3 8–1.[17]

Game 4

October 17, 2017 5:08 pm (EDT) at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, 61 °F (16 °C), clear
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 4 3 0
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 X 6 8 3
WP: Chad Green (1–0)   LP: Ken Giles (0–1)   Sv: Aroldis Chapman (1)
Home runs:
HOU: None
NYY: Aaron Judge (2)
Attendance: 48,804

Game 4 began as a pitcher's duel. The Yankees' Sonny Gray threw five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while Astros' Lance McCullers Jr. threw six shutout innings with one hit. With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth on two walks and a catcher's interference call, Yuli Gurriel cleared them with a double off of David Robertson to put the Astros up 3–0. The next inning, a Starlin Castro fielding error allowed Marwin González, who doubled, to score, increasing the lead to 4–0. In the bottom of the seventh, Aaron Judge hit a home run, chasing McCullers from the game. Chris Devenski entered in relief only to allow a triple to Didi Gregorius and a sacrifice fly to Gary Sánchez, cutting the lead to 4–2. In the bottom of the eighth, Todd Frazier and Chase Headley both singled, with the latter tripping on his way to second base and evading José Altuve's close tag to remain safe at second. As Ken Giles entered the game, a Brett Gardner groundout made the score 4–3 before Judge doubled into left field, tying the game at 4–4. Gregorius singled and Sánchez doubled in two runs to complete the Yankees comeback, now up 6–4. Aroldis Chapman entered in the top of the ninth inning, pitching a 1-2-3 inning to get his first save of the series and third this postseason as the Yankees rallied to tie the series at two games all.[18]

Game 5

October 18, 2017 5:11 pm (EDT) at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, 74 °F (23 °C), clear
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
New York 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 X 5 10 1
WP: Masahiro Tanaka (1–1)   LP: Dallas Keuchel (1–1)
Home runs:
HOU: None
NYY: Gary Sánchez (1)
Attendance: 49,647

In the top of the second inning, Yulieski Gurriel hit a leadoff double, but was stranded with three consecutive groundouts. In the bottom half of that inning, Starlin Castro hit a two-out double and was driven in by Greg Bird's single. Next inning Chase Headley hit a leadoff single and scored on Aaron Judge's one-out double. In the fifth, after a single and walk, back-to-back two-out RBI singles by Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius made it 4–0 and knock starter Dallas Keuchel out of the game. Gary Sánchez provided insurance with a home run in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Brad Peacock. Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven shutout innings and Tommy Kahnle pitched two innings to close. The Yankees were now one win away from the World Series.[19]

Game 6

October 20, 2017 7:09 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 1
Houston 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 X 7 8 0
WP: Justin Verlander (2–0)   LP: Luis Severino (0–1)
Home runs:
NYY: Aaron Judge (3)
HOU: José Altuve (1)
Attendance: 43,179

Facing elimination, Justin Verlander threw seven shutout innings for the Astros, striking out eight. The Astros struck first in the bottom of the fifth off of Luis Severino. After two walks, Brian McCann drove in the first run with a double, then another walk loaded the bases before José Altuve's two-run single put Houston on the board 3–0. In the top of the eighth, Aaron Judge hit a home run to cut the lead to 3–1, but the Astros increased their lead in the bottom of the inning, starting with an Altuve lead off home run off of David Robertson. After a double and single, Alex Bregman's two-run double made it 6–1. One out later Evan Gattis's sacrifice fly off of Dellin Betances made it 7–1 Astros. Ken Giles pitched a scoreless ninth as the Astros forced the first LCS Game 7 in either league since 2012. This was Houston's second ever win in a game facing elimination in a postseason series, the first being the 2015 American League Wild Card Game.[20]

Game 7

October 21, 2017 7:08 pm (CDT) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, 73 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Houston 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 X 4 10 0
WP: Charlie Morton (1–1)   LP: CC Sabathia (1–1)   Sv: Lance McCullers Jr. (1)
Home runs:
NYY: None
HOU: Evan Gattis (1), José Altuve (2)
Attendance: 43,201

In the winner-take-all game to decide the AL pennant winner, Aaron Judge made a leaping catch to rob Yuli Gurriel of a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning. CC Sabathia allowed the first run of the game on a home run to Evan Gattis in the fourth. Tommy Kahnle entered the game in relief, but in the fifth, gave up a home run to José Altuve and after two singles, a two-run double to former Yankee Brian McCann, extending the Astros lead to 4–0. For the Astros, Charlie Morton pitched five innings, allowed one walk and struck out five. Lance McCullers Jr. entered in relief, pitching four scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his first career save. McCullers ended the game throwing 24 straight curveballs; a Greg Bird flyout to George Springer was the final out of the game, sending the Astros to the 2017 World Series.[21]

The Astros advanced to their first World Series in 12 years, becoming the first team to win pennants in both leagues. Houston's victory made this just the fifth best-of-seven series (following the 1987, 1991, and 2001 World Series, and the 2004 National League Championship Series), and the first ALCS, in which the home team won all seven games.[22]

This was also Joe Girardi's final game as Yankees manager as 5 days after the game the Yankees announced that he would not be coming back for the 2018 season.[23]

Composite line score

2017 ALCS (4–3): Houston Astros beat New York Yankees.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York Yankees 0 4 1 5 3 0 3 5 1 22 45 6
Houston Astros 0 0 0 4 6 3 1 4 2 20 40 2
Total attendance: 320,513   Average attendance: 45,788

References

  1. ^ Oz, Mike (October 13, 2017). "MLB postseason: Four biggest U.S. cities reach final four for first time ever". Yahoo Sports.
  2. ^ "MLB close to selling first World Series presenting sponsorship". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Camping World Holdings, MLB form new multi-year partnership". MLB.com. September 18, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Kaplan, Jake. "Astros have a Boston glee party, advance to ALCS". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ BILLY WITZ (October 12, 2017). "Didi Gregorius Leads Yankees Past Indians and Into A.L.C.S." The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 1". MLB.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 2". MLB.com. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  8. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 3". MLB.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 4". MLB.com. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 5". MLB.com. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 6". MLB.com. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  12. ^ "Boxscore: New York vs. Houston, Game 7". MLB.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "Keuchel strikes out 10, Astros beat Yanks 2-1 in ALCS opener". ESPN. October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Yankees–Astros gave us a weird baseball sequence". SI.com. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "Altuve's dash lifts Verlander, Astros over Yanks in Game 2". ESPN. October 14, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros 8-1, trail ALCS 2-1". ESPN. October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  17. ^ Axisa, Mike. "Aaron Judge breaks out in Game 3 vs. Astros not a moment too soon for the Yankees". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  18. ^ "Judge HR sparks NY, Yanks beat Astros 6-4 to even ALCS at 2". ESPN. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  19. ^ BILLY WITZ (October 18, 2017). "Yankees Overcome a Nemesis as Masahiro Tanaka Stifles the Astros". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  20. ^ "Astros crush Yankees in Game 6, force Game 7 in ALCS: Final score, things to know". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  21. ^ "McCullers throws 24 straight curves, sends Astros to series". SI.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "Home team wins every game of 2017 ALCS". Major League Baseball. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "Joe Girardi not returning as manager of New York Yankees". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 26, 2017.

External links

2017 American League Division Series

The 2017 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-games series held to determine the participating teams in the 2017 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff—played in two series.

These matchups were:

(1) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champions) versus (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card Game winner)

(2) Houston Astros (West Division champions) versus (3) Boston Red Sox (East Division champions)For the first time, Major League Baseball sold presenting sponsorships to all of its postseason series; Doosan acquired presenting sponsorship to the ALDS, and thus the series was officially known as the American League Division Series presented by Doosan.

2017 New York Yankees season

The 2017 New York Yankees season was the 115th season in New York City for the Yankees, and the 117th season overall for the franchise. It was also the final season with manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees finished the regular season with 91 wins and 71 losses. This season was considered a breakout season for many players, including starting pitcher Luis Severino who emerged as arguably the Yankees' best pitcher as well as rookie outfielder Aaron Judge, who broke the rookie record by passing Mark McGwire for most home runs by a rookie (50) on September 25. Judge ended the season by leading the American League with 52 home runs. The Yankees also clinched a playoff berth after missing the playoffs the previous year and won at least 90 games for the first time since 2012. They struggled to catch up to the defending American League East champions the Boston Red Sox after being in first place for the beginning of the season but managed to clinch their sixth wild card berth, their third in seven seasons. They defeated the Minnesota Twins 8–4 in the Wild Card Game (their first postseason game win in five years) and the Cleveland Indians in five games (after falling into an 0–2 deficit after the first two games in Cleveland) in the Division Series before losing to the Houston Astros in seven games in the 2017 American League Championship Series. Notably, during the postseason the Yankees were 6–0 at home, yet 1–6 on the road, and played an ALCS series that saw every single game won by the home team. Also, it would be also notable for being the silver jubilee season for the long time Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay and the 15th anniversary season of the team's current cable channel, YES Network.

A. J. Hinch

Andrew Jay Hinch (born May 15, 1974) is an American professional baseball coach and former catcher, who is currently the manager for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to joining the Astros, Hinch played as catcher for the Oakland Athletics (1998–2000), Kansas City Royals (2001–2002), Detroit Tigers (2003), and Philadelphia Phillies (2004), managed the Arizona Diamondbacks (from May 2009 to July 2010), and was the vice president of professional scouting for the San Diego Padres (from September 2010 to August 2014). He won the 2017 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers as the Astros' manager. Hinch has a degree in psychology from Stanford University.

Babe Ruth Award

The Babe Ruth Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player with the best performance in the postseason. The award, created in honor of Babe Ruth, was first awarded in 1949 to the MVP of the World Series, one year after Ruth's death. The award was created by the New York City chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). It continued to be awarded exclusively for performances in the World Series until 2007, when the New York chapter of the BBWAA changed the award to cover the entire postseason. Though it is older than the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, which was not created until 1955 (as the "SPORT Magazine Award"), the Babe Ruth Award is considered less prestigious, because it is not sanctioned by MLB and is awarded several weeks after the World Series.MLB expanded its postseason to include the League Championship Series (LCS) in 1969, the League Division Series (LDS) in 1995, and the Wild Card round in 2012. The Wild Card round is a one-game playoff, the LDS follows a best-of-five playoff format, and the LCS and World Series follow a best-of-seven playoff format. The most recent World Series champions are the Boston Red Sox, who won the 2018 World Series. David Price was named recipient of the Babe Ruth Award.Ruth was a noted slugger who batted .326 with 15 home runs and three wins in three games started as a pitcher during World Series play. However, the Babe Ruth Award does not only go to sluggers or pitchers. Dick Green won the award for the 1974 World Series, in which he batted 0-for-13, but helped the Oakland Athletics win the series with his defense.Joe Page of the New York Yankees was the first winner of the Babe Ruth Award, and Jonathan Papelbon of the Boston Red Sox was the first winner since the award criteria changed to cover the entire postseason. In all, members of the Yankees have won the award sixteen times. Luis Tiant is the only winner of the Babe Ruth Award to play for the World Series–losing team. Two players, Sandy Koufax and Jack Morris, have won the award twice.

Brian McCann (baseball)

Brian Michael McCann (born February 20, 1984) is an American professional baseball catcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has played in MLB for the Braves, the New York Yankees, and the Houston Astros. McCann is a seven-time All-Star and a six-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He won the 2017 World Series with the Astros.

Fox Sports 1

Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is an American pay television channel that is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group, a unit of Fox Corporation. FS1 replaced the motorsports network Speed on August 17, 2013, at the same time that its companion channel Fox Sports 2 replaced Fuel TV. Both FS1 and FS2 absorbed most of the sports programming from its predecessors, as well as content from Fox Soccer, which was replaced by the entertainment-based channel FXX on September 2, 2013.

FS1 airs an array of live sporting events, including Major League Baseball, college sports (most notably Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 football, and Big East basketball), soccer matches (including Major League Soccer, Liga MX, Bundesliga, and Copa Libertadores), United States Golf Association championship events, UFC mixed martial arts, and a variety of motorsports events such as NASCAR, IMSA, Formula E, ARCA, and the NHRA. FS1 also features daily sports news, analysis and discussion programming as well as sports-related reality and documentary programs.

The network is based primarily from the Fox Sports division's headquarters in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, though the network also has significant broadcast operations in New York City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina (the latter of which had served as Speed's home base). As of January 2016, Fox Sports 1 is available to approximately 84,486,000 pay television households (72.583% of households with at least one television set) in the United States.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied 3–3 going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game 5 has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game 9.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

Justin Verlander

Justin Brooks Verlander (born February 20, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers for 12 seasons, with whom he made his major league debut on July 4, 2005. A right-handed batter and thrower, Verlander stands 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighs 225 pounds (102 kg).

From Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, Verlander attended Old Dominion University (ODU) and played college baseball for the Monarchs. He broke the Monarchs' and Colonial Athletic Association's career records for strikeouts. At the 2003 Pan American Games, Verlander helped lead the United States national team to a silver medal.

The Tigers selected him in the first round and as the second overall pick of the 2004 first-year player draft. As a former ace in the Tigers' starting rotation, he was a key figure in four consecutive American League (AL) Central division championships from 2011−2014, two AL Pennants in 2006 and 2012, and in the Astros' first World Series championship in 2017. He is among the career pitching leaders for the Tigers, including ranking second in strikeouts (2,373), seventh in wins (183), and eighth in innings pitched (2511).

The winner of a number of accolades, Verlander is an eight-time MLB All-Star, has led the AL in strikeouts five times and in wins twice. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2006, and on June 12, 2007, pitched the first no-hitter at Comerica Park versus the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, he led the AL in wins and strikeouts, both for the first time. Verlander produced his most successful season in 2011, including his second career no-hitter versus the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7. By season's end, Verlander won the Pitching Triple Crown, the AL Cy Young Award unanimously, the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, and the Sporting News Player of the Year Award.

The Tigers traded Verlander to the Houston Astros just before the 2017 trade deadline. He immediately made an impact for the team, going undefeated in his first five starts heading into the postseason. He helped lead the Astros to the 2017 World Series, which they won over the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving him his first career ring. For his performance in the 2017 American League Championship Series, he was named MVP, and was co-winner of the Babe Ruth Award (with teammate José Altuve) for most outstanding performance in the 2017 postseason. In the 2018 season, Verlander became the 114th pitcher in major league history to surpass 200 career wins, also becoming the 20th fastest to reach the milestone (412 starts).

List of Houston Astros seasons

This is a list of seasons completed by the Houston Astros, originally known as the Houston Colt .45s, professional baseball franchise.

The Astros have completed 56 seasons in Major League Baseball, qualifying for the postseason eleven times and reaching the World Series twice (2005 and 2017). Established as an expansion franchise in 1962, the team's first winning season was in 1972. In 1980 the Astros made their first postseason appearance. From 1997–2005, the team made postseason appearances in six out of nine seasons. From 2006 to 2013 the franchise experienced a steady decline with consecutive 100-loss seasons in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2015 the team defeated the New York Yankees in the 2015 American League Wild Card Game. This was the Astros' first postseason appearance as an American League team, and first overall since 2005. It was also the Astros' first playoff win since Game 6 of the 2005 National League Championship Series. Houston would qualify for the playoffs again in 2017, defeating the Boston Red Sox in the 2017 American League Division Series and the New York Yankees in the 2017 American League Championship Series. The team would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, winning the championship for the first time in team history.

Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka (田中 将大, Tanaka Masahiro, born November 1, 1988) is a Japanese professional baseball starting pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). From 2007 through 2013, he played for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Nippon Professional Baseball's (NPB) Pacific League. Tanaka was posted by the Eagles after the 2013 season to be signed by an American team; he agreed to terms with the New York Yankees and signed a seven-year, $155 million contract, the fifth-largest deal ever given to a pitcher at the time.Tanaka was the Eagles' first-round pick in the 2006 NPB amateur player draft. From 2012 to 2013, he won 26 consecutive decisions, which set a new NPB record. In the MLB, Tanaka has earned selections to two Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City; the other club is the National League (NL)'s New York Mets. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles (no relation to the modern Baltimore Orioles). Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise that had ceased operations and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.The team is owned by Yankee Global Enterprises, an LLC that is controlled by the family of the late George Steinbrenner, who purchased the team in 1973. Brian Cashman is the team's general manager, and Aaron Boone is the team's field manager. The team's home games were played at the original Yankee Stadium from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. In 1974 and 1975, the Yankees shared Shea Stadium with the Mets, in addition to the New York Jets, and New York Giants. In 2009, they moved into a new ballpark of the same name that was constructed next door to the previous facility, which was closed and demolished. The team is perennially among the leaders in MLB attendance.

The Yankees are arguably the most successful professional sports team in the United States; they have won 40 AL pennants, and 27 World Series championships, all of which are MLB records. The Yankees have won more titles than any other franchise in the four major North American sports leagues. Forty-four Yankees players and eleven Yankees managers have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford. In pursuit of winning championships, the franchise has used a large payroll to attract talent, particularly during the Steinbrenner era. According to Forbes, the Yankees are the second highest valued sports franchise in the United States and the second in the world, with an estimated value of approximately $4 billion. The Yankees have garnered enormous popularity and a dedicated fanbase, as well as widespread enmity from fans of other MLB teams. The team's rivalry with the Boston Red Sox is one of the most well-known rivalries in U.S. sports.

From 1903–2018, the Yankees' overall win-loss record is 10,275–7,781 (a .569 winning percentage).

World Series

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.Prior to 1969, the team with the best regular season win-loss record in each league automatically advanced to the World Series; since then each league has conducted a championship series (ALCS and NLCS) preceding the World Series to determine which teams will advance. As of 2018, the World Series has been contested 114 times, with the AL winning 66 and the NL winning 48.

The 2018 World Series took place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox from October 23–28, with the Red Sox winning in five games to earn their ninth title. This was the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1916. Having previously lost to the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series, the Dodgers became the 11th team to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons.In the American League, the New York Yankees have played in 40 World Series and won 27, the Philadelphia/Kansas City/Oakland Athletics have played in 14 and won 9, and the Boston Red Sox have played in 13 and won 9, including the first World Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have appeared in 19 and won 11, the New York/San Francisco Giants have played in 19 and won 8, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 20 and won 6, and the Cincinnati Reds have appeared in 9 and won 5.

As of 2018, no team has won consecutive World Series championships since the New York Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000—the longest such drought in Major League Baseball history.

Until 2002, home-field advantage in the World Series alternated from year to year between the National League and American League. From 2003 to 2016, home-field advantage was given to the league that won that year's All-Star Game. Starting in 2017, home-field advantage is awarded to the league champion team with the better regular season win-loss record.

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