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Three keys to a Yankees victory in Game 2 of ALDS

The New York Yankees lost a tough game on Friday night in Boston, a game that easily could have been won.  They take the field again Saturday night with an opportunity to tie the ALDS up at one.  On the mound for the Yankees is Masahiro Tanaka, who is a gamer come playoff time.  On the other side is noted Yankee whipping boy, David Price.  Here are the three keys to getting a victory in Boston and bringing the series back to the Bronx tied.

Get to the bullpen early, and often

The Red Sox found out Friday night that they would be without pitcher Steven Wright due to injury.  Wright will miss the rest of the season, and his absence will be felt more than people realize.  With an already shaky bullpen, the only stalwart in there is Craig Kimbrel.  Alex Cora implemented his strategy of using starting pitchers as relievers Friday, as he put Rick Porcello as a bridge to Craig Kimbrel.

It seems pretty obvious, but if the Yankees could get to Price early and have good at bats against the depleted Red Sox bullpen, it could tilt the series in the Yankees’ favor.  Keeping the bullpen in the game for innings at a time will tax the Red Sox, and unless they get masterful performances from Price and all other starting pitchers, the Yankees will have delivered a big blow to Boston’s weak spot.

No free outs

This one is pretty obvious, but the Yankees’ biggest issue so far in the playoffs has been their defense.  They gave away free outs to the A’s in the Wild Card game, but they were lucky not to have lost the game because of it.  As good as the Yankees are, infield defense is a real weak spot.  With inexperienced fielders like Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit, the young Yankees need to learn not to force throws or rush an easy play.

The Boston Red Sox had 108 wins this season and they will make you pay for any mistake you make.  An error means a runner on base, which could potentially mean the Sox trying to exploit Gary Sanchez’s defense.  If the Yankees keep the Red Sox off the base path, it should be a successful night.

A big at bat by Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton was horrendous on Friday night.  He went 1-5 with four strikeouts.  He literally just watched three strikes roll by him in the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel.  He also struck out with the bases loaded twice in the game, leading some to believe that the playoff lights are just a little too bright.

Stanton has actually had a lot of success against Boston.  He’s batted .371 this season with six home runs against the rivals from Beantown.  If Stanton can get going and not just be a black hole in the middle of this team’s lineup, it’ll build confidence in both himself and his team.

The Yankees aren’t dead yet.  They have a great opportunity on Saturday night to prove they won’t roll over to this historically good Red Sox team.  If they win tonight, it’s all tied up heading to the Bronx.  It’s a must win game.  Can they prove the world wrong?

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