Bader sparkles in Yankees’ darkest hours

Harrison Bader

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NEW YORK — Harrison Bader is the only player who fought in an otherwise lifeless Yankees campaign against the Astros in the American League Championship Series.

The Yankees fell 6-5 to the Astros at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, losing the ALCS 4-0. While New York players failed as batters, pitchers, and fielders and their offense made wrong headlines, Bader hoisted home runs one after another to save his club.

Bader blasted a first-pitch fastball from Hector Neris into the left-field bleachers in his fourth at-bat from the leadoff slot with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to give the Yankees a one-run lead.

But the Yankees’ lead didn’t last long. In the next half inning, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman hit RBI singles to help the Astros add two runs. This gave the Astros the lead back for good and sent the Yankees home.

Bader told reporters:

“When there’s a baseball game going on, we always feel like we’re in charge. Sometimes you have to give credit to your opponents, and there’s no doubt that they kept hitting back over there. You can never start to party too soon. At no point can you think that the game is over. Just keep working hard and trying to fight back. Tonight, things just didn’t go our way.”

Bader erased any doubts about his value after the Cardinals sent him to New York in a trade for Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline. He had a huge breakthrough in the postseason.

Even though they lost, Bader’s long ball in the sixth inning was his fifth home run of the postseason. This shows how important he was to an offense that was struggling during the postseason.

The man from Bronxville, New York, went 3-for-4 and drove in three of the Yankees’ five runs. At the start of the night, the Yankees were hitting.161 (40-for-248) as a team in the playoffs, but Bader and Giancarlo Stanton had been the exact opposite of the team’s offensive struggles.

Bader went 10 for 30 (.300) in the playoffs and scored eight runs and drove in six runs, but he was still not happy.

“I’m very disappointed because you do your best to put your best foot forward, play hard and it just didn’t shake out the way we wanted it to,” the player said. “It definitely sucks, but it’s important to take every ounce of positives from this season and carry it into the offseason.

As Bader’s first few months with the Yankees came to an end, he was pleased with how his season was going.

Bader started having problems with plantar fasciitis in late June. By mid-September, he was able to play again and help the Yankees win the AL East. He was also their most consistent player in the playoffs.

“There were times during this year, specifically, where I thought my season was lost because of the lingering nature of my injury,” Bader said. “I’m standing here now with zero pain, zero discomfort. I attribute that to the level of which the medical staff behind the scenes continued to work with me every day, which I’m very grateful for.”

Can Bader replace Aaron Judge as Yankees power hitter?

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