All Clint Frazier needed was the one pitch to show he belonged to the ALDS’s Game 1 Yankees squad.
In his first post-season start, Fraser hit a fast ball at 96 mph from the left of Blake Snell 418 feet into the upper deck in the left of the field on the first pitch of the third round Monday night at Petco Park in San Diego.
“It was exciting,” said Fraser after the Yankees won 9-3. “Obviously I didn’t get the playing time I wanted in the last series. Getting my first post-season hit in my career, running home at that moment was special to me and the team.”
Eighth hitting, Fraser teamed up with No. 9 hitter Kyle Higashioka to be Homer’s first 8-9 hitters in the post-season match.
“With Snell, he’s a guy who likes to vomit in the area a lot and play fast ball, so I was going to this bat expecting him to try to go to that field in the area and I kind of had Frazier said, ‘I set my eyes there. But don’t bump into this stadium often because it’s so tough. It’s hard to hit. This is probably the first one of my career I have ever had and it came along big time and I was really excited and still excited at the moment and I can’t wait to go out to see my girlfriend and give her a hug. ”
Frazier ended up playing only five innings, but his post-season career debut gave the Yankees a 2–1 lead and Aaron Boone decided to start with Brett Gardner on the left court.
After playing 1 to 20 in his last six games of the regular season, Frazier is overtaken by two rookies in the Wild-Card series in Cleveland. Gardner went 3-for-8 with two careers, a home tour and three RBIs as the Yankees swept the series. Frazier had one hit, and a three-court hit as a pinch hit in Game 2.
Boone said it was a tough decision to have Fraser sit on the bench instead of Gardner in Cleveland but it was an easy decision to start Fraser against Snell who hit Fraser with the rules loaded in the fourth.
“He has answered the bell at every turn this year,” Boone said after the match. The focus, work, and professionalism he manages to demonstrate … [He’s] Big reason we’re in postseason, and [he] Do not start the first two games. He gets his chance tonight. . . I am really proud of the way he handles things. He showed himself as a true professional. ”
King added, Kratz out. The Yankees increased their staff to 14 for ALDS after carrying 13 arms in the Wild Cards series by adding the late rookie Michael King. Third catcher Eric Kratz has been pulled off the list. King, 25, has gone 1-2 with a score of 7.76 eras in nine matches (four starts) this season.