Yankees player grades for ALDS sweep of Twins

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Starting pitchers

James Paxton (B) — In his first start since being pulled due to a tight left glute muscle, Paxton was good — not great — but he got the job done in Game 1. While he wasn’t able to display the kind of stuff that won him 10 consecutive starts, The Big Maple overcame two early home runs to toss 4.2 innings of five-hit ball, allowing three runs, walking one and striking out eight. Naturally, the Yanks would like Paxton to last a bit longer, to take some of the stress off of the bullpen, but it was the first game of the series, and Paxton battled as long as he could.

Masahiro Tanaka (A+) — Game 2 was won by the end of the third inning, hence the reason why Boone only let Tanaka go a full five frames. However, Tanaka yet again showed he’s a big game shooter, allowing one run on one hit, with one walk and seven strikeouts. Holding the Twins to a .076 BAA, Tanaka’s splitter was on cruise control all night.

Luis Severino (B-) — In only his third big league start this season, Severino labored. Thanks to some stellar defense from his teammates, Severino was liable for four hits and two walks in four innings. Like usual, when he needed a big strikeout, the 25-year-old did just that, sitting down four Twins. Still rounding into shape, it wasn’t the prettiest start, but it leaves a lot of room for optimism headed into the ALCS.