The New York Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-2 to progress to the American League Championship series, while the Washington Nationals stayed alive in the National League Division Series.
Brett Gardner iced New York's 3-2 lead in the ninth inning by plating two runs with a single on his 12th pitch of an at-bat against closer Cody Allen on Wednesday.
The Indians had two errors in the ninth inning (three for the game), and they paid for their sloppy play by exiting the MLB postseason.
New York lost the first two games of the ALDS, but fought back to win three consecutive matches against the defending AL champs, who will enter the 2018 season with a 70-year championship drought.
With the loss, the Indians became the first 100-win team to blow a two-game lead in a divisional series since the 2001 Oakland Athletics (also to Yankees).
Meanwhile, the Nationals crushed the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field, tying their NLDS at two games apiece.
After a day of rain, the Nats and reigning World Series champions the Cubs returned to the diamond Wednesday in murky, cloudy Chicago skies. Stephen Strasburg got the start despite apparently being under the weather, and he shut the Cubs out with electric stuff.
Now, just like game seven of last year's World Series, the Cubs will have to win a big game on the road to save their season.
SABATHIA TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
CC Sabathia spun some of his 2007 Cy Young Award-winning form while becoming the first pitcher in playoff history with nine-plus strikeouts in fewer than five innings pitched.
Sabathia earned the start in the city that drafted him, and he struck out nine batters with two earned runs in 4.3 innings. The six-time All-Star had all his off-speed pitches working through four innings, but he was pulled in the fifth after allowing two runs. Still, Sabathia proved to be a useful starting option moving forward this postseason.
STRASBURG NEARLY UNHITTABLE
Game four was originally slated for Tuesday night, but hours of rain forced a delay. The extra day allowed Washington to start Strasburg instead of Tanner Roark, much to Chicago's dismay.
Strasburg struck out 12 batters in seven shutout innings, while allowing just three hits and two walks. The Nats ace has now tossed 14 scoreless innings with 22 strikeouts through two starts this postseason. He used his fastball Wednesday to consistently set up his devastating change-up. The Cubs probably would have preferred playing a day earlier in the rain.
GREGORIUS ON THE RISE, BUT YANKEES NEED MORE OUT OF JUDGE
Didi Gregorius bashed two early home runs off Corey Kluber. He also hit a home run in the AL wildcard win over the Minnesota Twins. The clutch infielder, who entered the day one for 13 in this series, also hit a single to finish the game three for four with two runs scored and three RBIs.
While Gregorius' production was inspiring for Yankees fans, Aaron Judge's woeful stretch must have everyone in New York worried. The All-Star rookie showed a propensity to rack up strikeouts during the regular season, and he set a postseason record by collecting 16 strikeouts this series. He went 0 for five with four strikeouts.
DIDI SENDS THE BALL WAY BACK
The 27-year-old smashed a homer deep, very deep.
CUBS AT NATS IN SERIES DECIDER
The Cubs, unable to muster any offensive success against Strasburg, missed their opportunity to close out the series at home. The Nationals will bring momentum back to Washington, where they will try to avenge a game-one loss to Kyle Hendricks.
Meanwhile, the Yankees and Astros will face off in the ALCS beginning Friday in Houston. The Astros will send Dallas Keuchel to the mound for game one, with Justin Verlander starting game two.
26. September 2018
|Great Britain and Argentina handed Davis Cup wildcards|
|Strong start key for European skipper Bjorn|
|Schmiedlova ousts former Tashkent champion Hibino|
|Mourinho and Pogba in frosty training ground exchange|
|Ashworth to leave FA for Brighton job|
|Gillespie backs Finch for Test success|
|Woods and Mickelson pairing ´not too likely´ - Furyk|
|Pogba v Mourinho: Who should stay and who should go at Manchester United?|
|Rahm better than I was at my first Ryder Cup, says McIlroy|
|Erdogan claims double standards in Ozil controversy|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes eye five in a row in Sochi – Russian GP in numbers|
|Rose: Stature doesn´t win Ryder Cup points|
|Sonny Bill Williams fit to face Pumas - Crotty|
|Exuberant Rahm expecting to be paired with calming influence|
|I´ve proved myself over and over - Garcia|
|Ocon negotiating with Williams for 2019|
|Kvitova´s Wuhan quest ended by Pavlyuchenkova|
|Hummels impressed by ´incredible´ Sanches|
|Brewers benefit from Pirates´ trade deadline acquisition of Archer|
|Barty upsets Kerber in Wuhan|
|England could still pick Cipriani despite training camp snub|
|Astros become first defending champions to reach 100 wins since 1990 Athletics|
|Wilder waiting for ´real offer´ to fight Joshua|
|LeBron focusing on patience after first Lakers practice|
|Pochettino expects Spurs in new stadium by Christmas|
|Inzaghi: With Ronaldo, Juve are best team in Europe|
|Some people talk too much – Icardi hits back at critics|
|Kovac, Robben praise Augsburg after draw|
|Angels star Ohtani to undergo Tommy John surgery|
|Simeone tips Gimenez to be fit for Madrid derby|
|Smith on his NBA Finals miscue: People make mistakes all the time|
|Rams CB Talib to have ankle surgery|
|Cousins ´feeling a lot better´, still unsure when he´ll return|
|I knew we´d be in trouble with Jones on penalties – Mourinho|
|Coyotes forward Galchenyuk expected to miss opener|
|Guardiola won´t compare Foden to Iniesta|
|Lampard shell-shocked as Derby win at Old Trafford|
|Ryder Cup 2018: USA celebrities take the honours|
|Manchester United´s torrid penalty shoot-out run continues against Derby|
|Guardiola: Foden already a great, great player|
25. September 2018
|Atletico Madrid 3 Huesca 0: Rojiblancos cruise ahead of Madrid derby|
|EFL Cup: Lampard dumps out Mourinho, Burnley lose at Burton Albion|
|Mourinho denies Pogba row despite stripping midfielder of vice-captaincy|
|Fabinho situation not complicated, insists Klopp|
|Manchester United 2 Derby County 2 (Derby win 8-7 on pens): Lampard heaps pressure on Mourinho|
|Afghanistan snatch tie after Shahzad pummels India|
|Inter 2 Fiorentina 1: D´Ambrosio maintains Nerazzurri revival|
|Oxford United 0 Manchester City 3: Foden stars as EFL Cup holders cruise into round four|
|Cousin takes Gabon post after Aubameyang rejection|
|Bayern Munich 1 Augsburg 1: Neuer error costs champions|
|Paris Saint-Germain must be a Champions League force to help Neymar - Baptista|
|Salgado warns of ´war´ in Spanish football|
|Cech deserves Arsenal place, says Seaman|
|Halep and Garcia among seeds to fall in Wuhan|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes taking no comfort in points advantage|
|Benitez charged by FA for referee comment relating to Zaha treatment|
|Cibulkova dumps out hampered Halep in Wuhan|
|Mourinho questions his players amid reports Pogba won´t captain United again|
|European Ryder Cup diary: Fleetwood´s hair delights Poulter|
|USA Ryder Cup diary: Tiger´s roaring reception, McEnroe´s bold prediction|
|Loans to be limited under new FIFA proposal|
|Prolific Nadolo signs new Montpellier contract|
|Modric? For us, Messi is the best – Valverde|
|Murray makes winning start in Shenzhen|
|Mickelson would cherish first victory on European soil|
|Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa|
|Woodward in show of support for under-fire Mourinho|
|Mickelson jokes he wants ´a shot a side´ from Tiger in Thanksgiving showdown|
|Reed: Captain America is a villain in Europe|
|Duminy to captain Proteas as Elgar replaces injured Amla|