HOUSTON — He’s just a kid.
Barely old enough to drink, and can’t even order an adult beverage without being carded.
Well, with the way 22-year-old Gleyber Torres is playing this postseason, he may never have to take his wallet out to pay for another drink in New York.
The kid singlehandedly manhandled the Houston Astros with a performance that soon won’t be forgotten in the New York Yankees’ 7-0 victory in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Torres became the youngest Yankee in history to drive in five runs in a postseason game, going three for five with five RBI, with a double and home runs.
Torres, who hit 38 homers with 90 RBI this season, joins Mickey Mantle and Tony Kubek as the only Yankee players 22 or younger to have multiple homers in the postseason.
“Man, they’re going to be telling stories about that kid for a while,” Yankees All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge said. “He’s going to be a Yankee great, I know it. He just comes to work every single day. He’s always got a smile on his face. No situation is too big.
“I’ll see him in the box, bases loaded, big situation and he’ll give us a little smile in the dugout like he knows he’s going to go up there and do his job.
“Just a special individual.”
Torres is the trade acquisition that keeps on giving, with the Yankees sending closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline in 2016.
Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka is quietly establishing himself as one of the greatest postseason pitchers in Yankee history.
Tanaka, who had never defeated the Astros in seven starts in his career (0-2, 6.62 ERA in seven starts), breezed through six innings, needing just 68 pitches. He yielded just a lone single to rookie Kyle Tucker in the third inning. He was so dominant that the Astros managed only four balls to be hit out of the infield.
He becomes the first pitcher in baseball history to yield four or fewer hits and two or less runs in his first seven postseason starts.
Tanaka’s postseason ERA now dropped to 1.32, the second-lowest in history, trailing only Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (0.95 ERA).
The Astros did everything they possibly could do to rattle Tanaka, but nothing worked, as he went toe-to-toe with Astros former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, and outlasted him.
Tanaka refused to lose his composure, saying before the game that he would rely on his experience in the 2017 ALCS when the Yankees lost all four games in Houston.
“One thing I can say is that we’ve been here in 2017,’’ Tanaka said. “We know what it’s like in here.’’
And now the Astros know what it’s like to face the Yankees’ relentless lineup, which produced 13 hits, and showed no fear playing at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros won 61 games during the regular season.
It perhaps it’s silly believing it was a must-win game for the Yankees, but considering that Verlander and Cole are scheduled to pitch four times in the next six games, they really couldn’t afford not to win.
Now, the pressure turns to the Astros.
They can’t go back to the Bronx down 0-2.
“We’re about to buckle up,’’ Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
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