The Yankees have one of the best bullpens in baseball. There's Dellin Betances' disappearing slider, Aroldis Chapman's rocket-powered fastball and David Robertson's unhittable cutter. But after Luis Severino's dominating performance in Game 4 of the ALDS on Monday (and after Betances running into some trouble starting the eighth), Joe Girardi turned to a man who had just three saves in four big league seasons. In fact, he hadn't closed out a game in more than a year.
It was time for ... Thomas Robert Kahnle.
The 28-year-old, who had been great down the stretch for New York, came in with no outs and runners on first and second -- hoping to protect a 7-3 lead. And protect he did. The right-hander notched a six-out save -- striking out five of the six batters he faced. Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall all went down swinging to end the game:
He was also the first pitcher with five strikeouts and a save in a postseason elimination game ... ever.
Tommy Kahnle: 1st pitcher with at least 5 K and a save in potential playoff elimination game (since saves became official in 1969)- Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 10, 2017
So yes, the Yankees bullpen is ever better than you thought it was. Tune into ALDS Game 5: Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET on FS1.