Young sees play come full circle in ALCS

Young sees play come full circle in ALCS

NEW YORK -- It's funny how quickly things can come full circle in October.

In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, Michael Young misplayed an Alex Rodriguez line drive with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. The botched play went for a two-run single and contributed to a five-run Yankees rally that turned a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 lead.

The Yankees won the game -- their 10th consecutive postseason win over Texas -- and it seemed like déjà vu all over again for the Rangers, who were oh-so-close to ending the Yankees hex before watching it all unravel.

"That was tough," Young said after Game 1. "He hit it hard and it took a weird hop. I would have loved for it to have found my glove."


Fast forward to Game 4 and an almost identical situation -- eighth inning, bases full, the Yankees trying to rally from down four runs. Lance Berkman swung at a Darren Oliver offering and laced a shot toward third.

In a play eerily similar to his attempted stab at the A-Rod liner in Game 1, Young threw his glove out. This time, the ball found leather and Young flipped to second to force out Robinson Cano and end the threat.

This time, it was déjà vu all over again for the Yankees, who dropped a third consecutive game to the Rangers while falling into a 3-1 hole in the best-of-seven series.

Suddenly, the Bombers can't find a way to beat a team they had done nothing but dominate in the postseason. That is, until the tables started to turn last week.

"I think the big thing is we don't really think too much about it," said Derek Holland, who earned the win in Game 4 thanks to 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Tommy Hunter.

"One thing is we like being considered the underdog going into people's places," Holland said. "They talk about home-field advantage; we want to be able to show that there's no such thing."

That fact has been proven indisputable by the Rangers thus far. The club is 5-0 on the road in the playoffs, as opposed to 1-3 at home. And now Texas has a chance to close out the defending champs by sweeping them in their own house.

"It's been a little unusual," Young said. "I think we look at Yankee Stadium as just a fun place to play.

"This is the ultimate in baseball."

Matt Chaprales is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.