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ALCS Takeaways: Disappointing bats put Yankees on brink of elimination

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Facing Justin Verlander is a challenge at the best of times. Facing him in an elimination game sounds even less pleasant, yet that’s the challenge now facing the New York Yankees.

The Houston Astros took Game 4 of the ALCS 8-3, setting up a Verlander vs. James Paxton rematch Friday night at Yankee Stadium. With the Astros ahead 3-1, the Yankees must now beat both Verlander and Gerrit Cole to stave off elimination. Houston, on the other hand, needs just one win in the next three games to advance and face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

You never know what’s coming next in baseball, but the Yankees are faltering at the worst possible time, with four errors on defence and little offence to speak of. The Astros have simply outplayed them. But before we look too far into to the future, let’s take some time to appreciate some standout moments and performances from Houston’s Game 4 win.

Pitching, defence and three-run homers

What’s October without a power display from George Springer? The 2017 World Series MVP was at it again Thursday, hitting a three-run homer off starter Masahiro Tanaka to give Houston an early lead.

Entering play in Game 4, Springer already had a .902 OPS in October compared to his .849 regular season mark. He also has 13 career post-season homers now, tied........

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