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7:05 PM ET, October 12, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
ESPN:
Masahiro Tanaka to take mound for Yankees in ALCS opener vs. Astros  —  Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound Friday night when the New York Yankees open their American League Championship Series against the Astros in Houston.  —  Luis Severino will start Game 2 on Saturday in Houston.
RELATED:
ESPN:
Yankees rally around manager Joe Girardi in Game 5 win over Indians  —  New York third baseman Todd Frazier said the motivation for the Yankees' American League Division Series-clinching 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night was right there in the dugout.
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
5 keys for the Yankees to take care of the Astros in Houston to start the ALCS  —  The Astros are waiting in Houston for the Yankees, rested and formidable.  With the best offense in baseball and a rotation bolstered by the late-season acquisition of ace Justin Verlander …
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Todd Frazier celebrates New York Yankees' ALDS win vs. Cleveland Indians  —  Todd Frazier discusses playing in a playoff game with the Yankees Matt Ehalt/NorthJersey.com  —  Todd Frazier celebrated the New York Yankees' ALDS win against the Cleveland Indians - the first postseason series win of his career …
Discussion: CBS New York and FanRag Sports
Roger Rubin / UPI:
ALCS: Surging New York Yankees should give favored Houston Astros tough battle  —  The Houston Astros got some good news and some bad news on Wednesday night.  —  The good news was that they would have home-field advantage for the American League Championship Series, with Game 1 set for Friday at Minute Maid Park.
Associated Press:   Jose Altuve staying humble as Astros marvel at 2B ahead of ALCS
Billy Witz / New York Times:
Didi Gregorius Leads Yankees Past Indians and Into A.L.C.S.
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
Nationals-Cubs NLDS Game 5: Which team has edge in winner-take-all clash?  —  For the third time in six years, the Washington Nationals will attempt to win a decisive Game 5 in the National League Division Series at Nationals Park - and advance to their first NL Championship Series.
RELATED:
Mark Feinsand / MLB.com:
Cubs-Nats: Must-win G5 tonight, 8 ET (TBS)  —  CHICAGO — Win or go home.  It's that simple.  —  The Cubs are hoping to keep their quest alive to become the first repeat World Series champions since 2000, while the Nationals are seeking their first postseason series win since moving to Washington.
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Jorge L. Ortiz / USA Today:
MLB playoffs: Are big-game starting pitchers nearly extinct?  —  With the New York Yankees ahead 3-1 in Game 5 of their division series Wednesday night, CC Sabathia gave up a run-scoring single to Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela with his 69th pitch of the game with one out in the fourth inning.
ESPN:   Your guide to Thursday's Game 5: Winner gets the Dodgers!
Steve Greenberg / Chicago Sun Times:   Jake Arrieta counting on team to win Game 5, extend his time with Cubs
Jeff Arnold / UPI:   NLDS: History on line as Washington Nationals return home vs. Chicago Cubs
ESPN:
Gio Gonzalez or Tanner Roark to oppose Kyle Hendricks in Game 5
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Chris Kuc / Chicago Tribune:
NLDS Game 4 turning point: Michael Taylor's grand slam
Discussion: Federal Baseball
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
Stephen Strasburg strikes back: Nationals top Cubs to force winner-take-all Game 5
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Matt Gelb / Philly.com:
Phillies interview Dusty Wathan, Jorge Velandia as two more internal candidates for manager  —  The Phillies have not conducted an off-season managerial search since 2004, and they are sure to engage external candidates — as soon as next week.  They could pursue a fresh perspective from outside …
RELATED:
Doug Mittler / ESPN:
Rumor Central: Jorge Velandia in contention for Phillies' managerial job?  —  Jorge Velandia, currently a special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak, has emerged as a “strong candidate” for the managerial vacancy of the Philadelphia Phillies, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Discussion: Philly.com
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Baby Bombers were carried to ALCS on backs of Yankees veterans  —  CLEVELAND — On a team laden with young talent, it was the old guard who led the Yankees to the ALCS.  —  CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner and David Robertson - all members of the 2009 World Series championship team - each delivered in a big way on Wednesday night.
Discussion: Baseball Prospectus
RELATED:
ESPN:
Indians suffer an epic letdown with ALDS loss
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight and Deadspin
ESPN:
Indians ace Corey Kluber knocks down notion that injury held him back
Discussion: South Side Sox
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Aaron Judge did help Yankees in ALDS, but barely with his bat  —  CLEVELAND — The Yankees overcame a brutal series from Aaron Judge at the plate to advance to the ALCS.  —  Judge went 1-for-20 with 16 strikeouts - an MLB record for Ks in a single playoff series.
RELATED:
Eric Barrow / New York Daily News:   Aaron Judge perplexed when asked how happy he is for Girardi after win: ‘For Joe?’
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:   Joe Girardi says owner Hal Steinbrenner has been ‘even-keeled’ since Girardi's Game 2 blunder
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
Greg Holland will opt out and aim high  —  Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland will not exercise his $15 million player option and instead become a free agent.  —  Holland will be able to earn a big multiyear deal after his very nice comeback season in Colorado.  But it will be interesting to see just how big.
Joe Belock / New York Daily News:
Yankees, Astros playoff history is just a one-game affair Bomber fans want to forget  —  Yankees and Astros have met just once before in the postseason — the Bombers' lifeless 3-0 loss in the 2015 AL wild card game at the Stadium.  —  Dallas Keuchel, Houston's Game 1 starter for Friday …
 
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 More News: 
Peter Botte / New York Daily News:
Aroldis Chapman gets redemption for 2016 World Series with save in final game of ALDS
Helene Elliott / Los Angeles Times:
Dick Enberg podcast features Vin Scully and a pleasant trip down memory lane
Associated Press:
Mariners CEO optimistic in face of extended playoff drought
 Earlier Picks: 
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Built on foundation of young talent, Yankees' future looks bright
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers TV ratings drop with team's performance, remain top 6
UPI:
Boston Red Sox fire manager John Farrell after five seasons
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
 

 
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