M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (2024)

Pinned

James Wagner

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Yankees 5, Guardians 1 | Yankees Win A.L. division series

Worth the wait: The Yankees head to the A.L.C.S. with a win over the Guardians.

  1. Johnny Milano for The New York Times
  2. Johnny Milano for The New York Times
  3. Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press
  4. Michelle Farsi for The New York Times
  5. Michelle Farsi for The New York Times
  6. Elsa/Getty Images
  7. Johnny Milano for The New York Times
  8. Michelle Farsi for The New York Times
  9. Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Throughout the first half of the 2022 regular season, it seemed like the Yankees and the Houston Astros were on a collision course. As the two best teams in the American League, they would have to meet in the A.L. Championship Series to decide the league pennant and the right to play in the World Series.

Here they finally are. The path was clear for the Astros, who earned the top A.L. seed in the postseason and swept Seattle in a division series. It was a more winding road for the Yankees, who earned a 5-1 victory on Tuesday in the winner-takes-all Game 5 of a division series against the Cleveland Guardians that felt like it may never end.

The Yankees rode the left arm of Nestor Cortes, who started on short rest and coughed up only one run over five efficient innings. They rode the bats of the sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who each homered early and calmed the nerves of Yankees fans. They rode a bullpen, woefully depleted by injuries, that tossed four scoreless innings to close out the victory.

“It’s important to throw the first punch, especially when all hands are on deck,” Stanton said in an on-field interview after the game, referring to his team’s pitching staff.

Roughly 24 hours after the final out in the Bronx on Tuesday, the Yankees will begin the best-of-seven A.L.C.S. in Houston against a well rested Astros team that will have played just three times in the previous 13 days. And on the mound, the Astros will go with their ace, Justin Verlander, a top contender for the A.L. Cy Young Award at age 39 after coming back from Tommy John surgery. In order to topple the Guardians, the Yankees needed to start their ace Gerrit Cole twice, including on Sunday, so the right-hander Jameson Taillon was asked to start Game 1 of the A.L.C.S.

Image

The Astros, who are making their sixth straight A.L.C.S. appearance, are a familiar and troublesome October foe for the Yankees. The previous two times the Yankees reached the A.L.C.S. — in 2017 and in 2019 — they were eliminated by the Astros.

“We kind of figured eventually at some point we’d see each other again,” Judge said. He added later, referring to Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, “I talk with Bregman about that and every year it’s like, ‘We’ll see you in the C.S.’ It’s going to be a fun matchup. It’s probably going seven games. We’ll see what happens.”

The Yankees had reason to be bothered by their 2017 exit in seven games of that A.L.C.S. The Astros, who won the World Series that year, were later discovered to be illicitly stealing signs that season and postseason. Major League Baseball punished the Astros, who, in turn, fired their general manager and manager at the time. In 2019, the Astros beat the Yankees in six games, only to fall to the Washington Nationals in a seven-game World Series.

Been doing it all year. #ALLRISE pic.twitter.com/hxiEW3jjae

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 18, 2022

“My ultimate goal is to go out there and win a World Series,” Judge said, “and that’s a team that’s kind of always been in the way.”

This season, even though the Yankees struggled in the second half, they and the Astros were the best two teams in the A.L. They secured the two first-round byes in the A.L. playoffs, with the Astros as No. 1 because they won 106 games to the Yankees’ 99. The Astros swept Seattle in their division series, while the Yankees needed five games — and a week — to sneak past the Guardians.

“A hard-fought, close series,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said.

This series was defined more by stops than starts. Game 2 in the Bronx was postponed from Thursday to Friday because of rain. Game 5 was also postponed by rain from Monday to Tuesday — originally a travel and workout day — but only after the teams and fans waited out a two-and-a-half-hour delay before being sent home by M.L.B.

Rain or not, the Guardians proved to be a tough out. Despite a roster that set a major-league record for most rookies (17) on a division- or league-winning team and whose payroll was $90 million (compared to the Yankees’ $259 million), the Guardians’ strong pitching, stout defense and pesky hitting pushed the Yankees to the brink.

Throughout the series, they exposed some of the Yankees’ weaknesses, notably on defense and in their bullpen. But on Tuesday, the Yankees used a formula that carried them this season: strong starting pitching and home runs, categories in which they were among the best — if not the best — in M.L.B.

The Yankees seized control of the game from the start. The Guardians right-hander Aaron Civale walked the Yankees’ leadoff hitter, Gleyber Torres, on four pitches. Striking out Judge was his lone accomplishment.

He then hit first baseman Anthony Rizzo with a pitch. Stanton let the first two balls go by him and then swung at the first pitch in the strike zone, sending it into the right field seats for a three-run blast that lit up Yankee Stadium.

Image

The next batter, Josh Donaldson, hit an infield single and Civale was removed from the game. The Guardians now had to cover 26 outs with their bullpen. Cortes, however, spared the Yankees’ relief corps from a heavier load.

“I knew from that moment on,” Cortes said of Stanton’s home run, “all I had to do was throw strikes and be able to get us as deep as possible.”

As he carved up the Guardians’ lineup, his teammates gave him more wiggle room. In the second inning, Judge slammed a curveball from the left-handed reliever Sam Hentges over the right-center field fence for a solo blast. It was his fourth home run in a winner-takes-all game, the most in M.L.B. history, according to the Yankees.

Rizzo gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning with a single. After catching the final out at second base, Torres made a baby-rocking motion with his arms, mocking Guardians designated hitter Josh Naylor, who had done that to Cole after his home run in Game 4. Torres called Naylor’s celebration “disrespect” toward the Yankees and said they got “a little revenge.”

He added, “We’re happy to beat those guys and now they can watch on the TV the next series.”

In the clubhouse and on the field, the Yankees celebrated with beer and champagne. But some not too much. A drenched Taillon said he had not drunk a sip of alcohol. “Just wearing a lot of it,” he deadpanned. The next round and the Astros were already upon them.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (2)

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:24 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:24 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

The first three picks in the 2010 draft have reached the L.C.S. round — with teams other than the ones that selected them: Bryce Harper, drafted by Washington but now with the Phillies; Jameson Taillon, drafted by Pittsburgh but now with the Yankees; and Manny Machado, drafted by Baltimore but now with the Padres.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (3)

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:17 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:17 p.m. ET

Sara Ziegler

A strikeout of Andrés Giménez, and the Guardians are down to their final out.

ROCK THE BABY!!!

The @Yankees advance to the ALCS! pic.twitter.com/VRpZywkBpY

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 18, 2022

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (4)

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:10 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 7:10 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Wandy Peralta, who has pitched in every game this series, is in for the ninth.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (5)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:57 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:57 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

The Yankees are three outs away from the A.L.C.S. Prep the Champagne (for a modest celebration, because they would have to face a fresh Justin Verlander tomorrow).

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (6)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:50 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:50 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

After two scoreless innings from Loáisiga, the eighth belongs to Clay Holmes.

Clay Holmes sends down the Guardians in order in the 8th 🙅‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/Ql6xuq5HZB

— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (7)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:48 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:48 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

The list of M.L.B. relievers (which I do not keep) that I would never like to face begins with Emmanuel Clase. His stuff is straight filth.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (8)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:34 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:34 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

In the latest reminder that pro athletes are not like the rest of us, Josh Donaldson just fielded a ball by the third-base bag, looked toward second base to see if he had a play there, then whipped it across the infield to retire Myles Straw at first.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (9)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:38 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:38 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

In that same vein, Oswaldo Cabrera, he of the 44 career major league games, started the day at shortstop and now is in left field, and he’s superb at both positions. He can also play second. Oh, and he played only 34 innings of outfield in the minors.

The Yankees need nine outs — with Lou Trivino, Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes (and, perhaps, Gerrit Cole) ready and rested — to advance to the A.L.C.S. for the first time since 2019.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (11)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:06 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:06 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Nestor Cortes gave the Yankees everything they could have asked for and then some, throwing five innings of one-run ball on three days’ rest. Jonathan Loáisiga is in now for Cortes, and Wandy Peralta is getting loose.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (12)

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:02 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 6:02 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

Hentges, Stephan and Karinchak have combined to allow two runs in 4⅓ innings, striking out six, and their relative success makes you (yes, you, but also me) wonder why Francona started a guy who hadn’t pitched in two weeks instead of using a bullpen relay.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (13)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:58 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:58 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

An R.B.I. single from Anthony Rizzo plates Gleyber Torres and pushes the Yankees’ lead back to four.

Rizzo Rakes. pic.twitter.com/fUTWuSuaVJ

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (14)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:50 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:50 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

Nestor Cortes threw 158⅓ innings during the regular season after never having thrown more than 115 in a professional season before this year. He has now added 10 more in the postseason, and he’s still baffling hitters and keeping the Yankees’ bullpen rested. Incredible.

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (15)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:46 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:46 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

The Yankees say Aaron Hicks exited with a left knee injury. He will undergo an M.R.I. at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital later today.

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (16)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:41 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:41 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

Interesting point just made by Ron Darling on the TBS broadcast. He said that Manager Aaron Boone might be tempted to go to the bullpen early, because Cortes is pitching on short rest, but that Boone would be wise not to because of the Yankees' relief depth.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (17)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:34 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:34 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Yankees fans are really letting Josh Naylor have it.

Well well, how the turn tables pic.twitter.com/oxYFeqhnww

— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (18)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:31 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:31 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

According to my Twitter feed, the replay TBS just showed and, well, my eyes, Cleveland Manager Terry Francona sure should have challenged the final out of the top of the fourth inning.

Andrés Giménez was ruled out on this play...

The Guardians didn't challenge and the inning ended 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Mp1xGRM78C

— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (19)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:28 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:28 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

During an in-game interview with TBS’s Matt Winer, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said Aaron Hicks hurt his lower left leg but that the precise nature of the injury had not been determined.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (20)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:18 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:18 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Cortes is at 40 pitches, and Jonathan Loáisiga was warming for the Yankees in the third inning. Meanwhile, the former Yankees farmhand Trevor Stephan is now in for Cleveland.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (21)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:16 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:16 p.m. ET

Sara Ziegler

Consider that a missed opportunity for the Guardians, who loaded the bases in the third with one out but scored only once, on a sacrifice fly from José Ramírez. Yankees 4, Guardians 1.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (22)

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:08 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 5:08 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

Well, that was a mess. Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera converged on a shallow fly down the left field line. The ball caromed off Cabrera’s glove in fair territory. Hicks crumpled to the grass with what appears to be a knee injury and has left the game. In comes Marwin Gonzalez to play left field.

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (23)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:57 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:57 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

Through the first four games, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton had combined for three hits in 28 at-bats. Through the first two innings today, they are 2-for-3 with two homers and have driven in all four Yankees runs.

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (24)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:55 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:55 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Add another run to the board. Judge has taken Hentges deep. “M.V.P.” chants follow for No. 99.

Been doing it all year. #ALLRISE pic.twitter.com/hxiEW3jjae

— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (25)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:57 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:57 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Judge now has four home runs in winner-take-all games — the most in M.L.B. history, according to the Yankees.

Most career home runs in win-or-go-home playoff games:

4 Aaron Judge
3 Giancarlo Stanton
3 Yogi Berra
3 Bill Skowron
3 Troy O’Leary
3 Didi Gregorius

— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) October 18, 2022

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (26)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:48 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:48 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

That’s six outs on 18 pitches for Nestor Cortes, excellent efficiency for a pitcher going on short rest.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (27)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:47 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:47 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

The Yankee Stadium crowd just brought back the “Who’s Your Daddy?” chant for Josh Naylor after he flied out. Naylor gestured cradling a baby after homering off Gerrit Cole earlier in the series.

Image

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:40 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:40 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Stanton homers, and the Yankees jump to a 3-0 lead.

Image

This was not the postseason debut Aaron Civale imagined, but Yankees fans sure are happy with the results.

Civale, the Guardians right-hander, managed to record just one out — a strikeout of Aaron Judge — before departing in the first inning with his team down three runs. He walked Gleyber Torres and hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch, setting Giancarlo Stanton up for a line drive home run, and Josh Donaldson then knocked Civale out of the game with an infield single.

The southpaw Sam Hentges relieved Civale — two batters too late, perhaps — and stopped the rally despite inheriting a runner and walking Harrison Bader. But the Guardians now find themselves in a 3-0 hole on the road in a decisive game.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (29)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:30 p.m. ET

James Wagner

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

And five batters into the game, Guardians starting pitcher Aaron Civale is done. After coughing up the three-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton, Civale gave up a single to Josh Donaldson, and Cleveland Manager Terry Francona had seen enough. It’s an elimination game, so everyone will have very little leeway.

Image

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (30)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:30 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Aaron Civale’s postseason career is off to a brutal start. He struck out Aaron Judge, but Giancarlo Stanton just lined a three-run shot over the right field wall.

Stanton strikes first! #postseason pic.twitter.com/UmwcxOStJt

— MLB (@MLB) October 18, 2022

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (31)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:29 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:29 p.m. ET

Ben Shpigel

Four batters in, and the Guardians already have a reliever — Sam Hentges — warming in the bullpen.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (32)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:17 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:17 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Steven Kwan has been a nuisance in this series, but Cortes was able to work around the pesky Guardians leadoff man. The lefty threw only eight pitches in the first inning.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (33)

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:09 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:09 p.m. ET

James Wagner

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Game 5 is — finally — underway. Pitching with one fewer day of rest, Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes threw a strike, a 92-mile per hour fastball. It’s 57 degrees and, most importantly, not raining.

Image

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:05 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 4:05 p.m. ET

James Wagner

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

The Yankees have a lot of bullpen options. Maybe even Gerrit Cole.

Image

In his last outing, in Game 2 on Friday, Nestor Cortes threw 92 pitches over five innings. Starting today on short rest, Cortes will “go as hard as he can,” Manager Aaron Boone said, but “obviously the bullpen is going to play a big role in this.”

Almost everyone on the Yankees’ pitching staff will be available — including, perhaps, the ace right-hander Gerrit Cole. Boone said he would check with Cole, who threw 110 pitches over seven innings in their Game 4 victory, before first pitch this afternoon.

“He could definitely be in play,” Boone said, “but we’ll see how it goes here the next few hours with him.”

In other words, Cole could be an option to pitch an inning in relief.

For a bullpen that has been depleted by injuries throughout the season, including in the weeks leading up to the playoffs, Cole could set up or close. But Monday’s rainout will allow Yankees relievers who pitched a lot over three consecutive days of games — Friday through Sunday — to be available on Tuesday.

For example: the left-hander Wandy Peralta, who has pitched in every game of the series. He threw 27 pitches over one and two-thirds innings on Saturday and then seven in a powerhouse ninth inning on Sunday to earn a save.

And, of course, there is the All-Star closer Clay Holmes, who struggled with injuries and inconsistency in the second half of the season. His status turned into a small brouhaha for the Yankees after they imploded in Game 3 on Saturday, when Boone decided against using Holmes — who said he was ready to pitch — for a second consecutive day because Holmes had returned from a shoulder injury for the playoffs; Boone had said Holmes would pitch in back-to-back games only in case of emergency.

With Monday’s game rained out, Holmes, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning on Sunday, should be ready and available today.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (35)

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:44 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:44 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

DJ LeMahieu still feels some pain in his foot, but he said he is “hoping” to make the Yankees’ A.L.C.S. roster if they advance. LeMahieu took swings on the field Tuesday. Manager Aaron Boone has said Ron Marinaccio and Frankie Montas could return, too, while Andrew Benintendi's status is uncertain.

Image

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:40 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:40 p.m. ET

Gary Phillips

Reporting from Yankee Stadium

Enjoy the game, folks. Justin Verlander is on deck tomorrow.

Image

Regardless of who wins Game 5, a compressed schedule and a well-rested Justin Verlander await.

Verlander, 39, is a top contender for the A.L.’s Cy Young Award and is expected to start on Wednesday against the Yankees or the Guardians in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Verlander, who led the A.L. in wins and E.R.A., has been resting since Oct. 11, when he had an unusually bad outing in which he allowed six earned runs to the Seattle Mariners in Houston’s division series opener. That poor performance also came after extended rest.

The lack of rest for whichever team advances from this division series will continue, as they would have only Friday off during the A.L.C.S., another delayed gift courtesy of M.L.B.’s lockout. So while their pitching staffs are fresh for Tuesday’s Game 5, load management could become a focal point against the Astros. But with their seasons on the line on Tuesday, the Yankees and Guardians can’t worry about that just yet.

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:20 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:20 p.m. ET

Victor Mather

On offense, the Guardians play one man short.

Image

It is pretty exciting to arrive at the ballpark for a playoff game and see the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrés Giménéz and José Ramírez in the lineups.

Then there’s Austin Hedges, the Cleveland Guardians starting catcher for Games 1, 2 and 3. Hedges was the worst hitter in baseball this season.

Hedges is known for being an excellent defensive catcher, but he can’t really hit. This season his batting average was .163. He had only 25 walks, for an on-base percentage of .241. He hit seven homers, but had just four doubles and no triples for a scarcely credible .248 slugging percentage. In contrast, Yankee starting catcher Jose Trevino, hardly the team’s best hitter, had figures of .248/.283/.388.

Hedges’s on-base plus slugging was .489, the lowest of any player with at least 300 plate appearances this season, and tied for the second lowest figure of the century. (Chone Figgins had a .484 O.P.S. for the Seattle Mariners in 2011.)

Although he had a decent year with the bat in 2018, Hedges, 30, has put up numbers similar to these every season since, and if anything they are slipping.

So far in the postseason, he is 1 for 13 with a single, although he does have three walks.

There certainly have been plenty of so-so players who have emerged to get big hits in the playoffs. Maybe Hedges can join them today. But if he does, he will be defying the numbers.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:01 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:01 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

Cole, Cortes, Severino and pray for rain?

Image

The Yankees were set to start Monday’s do-or-die Game 5 with Jameson Taillon on the mound, which was a concern when you recall his disastrous outing as a reliever in Game 2 in which he did not record an out, was charged with two runs and took the loss. But with M.L.B.’s decision to postpone the game until Tuesday, the Yankees have made the switch to Nestor Cortes, their second best starter this season, who is expected to face Cleveland’s Aaron Civale.

Cortes started Game 2 on Friday before Taillon’s major league debut as a reliever, and while he wasn’t up to his usual standards — he allowed two runs on six hits over five innings — he was fairly solid. An All-Star this season, Cortes finished strong despite a career high in innings pitched, going 12-4 with a 2.44 E.R.A.

To this point, the Yankees’ two wins in their division series were both games started by Gerrit Cole. If Cortes can get them through to the American League Championship Series it would only emphasize how much the team relies on those two starters, along with Luis Severino, and how situations where they need a fourth starter could be problematic. Nothing a little rain can’t help though.

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET

Tyler Kepner

Cleveland’s young team is shepherded by a veteran manager.

Image

It has been the most remarkable decade of excellence in recent baseball history. In the 10 seasons that Terry Francona has managed in Cleveland — in Cleveland, remember — his teams have always been good.

“Since Tito’s been here,” said Chris Antonetti, the president of baseball operations for the Guardians, using Francona’s nickname, “we’ve only played 19 games in which we weren’t secured a playoff spot or in contention for one, and most of those actually were last year. So before last year we were in the single digits, literally, the whole time he was here, where we weren’t playing meaningful games.”

Teams don’t raise banners for that, and Cleveland has gone without a World Series title since 1948, longer than every other team that was playing then. But nine out of 10 seasons with a winning record — the exception: an 80-82 stumble in 2021 — is astounding for a low-payroll team.

The Guardians — baseball’s youngest team — play with a throwback style that is fun to watch when it works. They steal bases. They put the ball in play. They don’t hit a lot of homers yet still score more runs than the average team.

Advertisem*nt

SKIP ADVERTIsem*nT

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET

Oct. 18, 2022, 3:00 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

How to watch Game 5 (for real this time).

The rest of baseball has been resting since Saturday, but the Yankees and the Guardians are still trying to decide which team will win this American League division series and advance to the American League Championship Series against Houston.

A rain postponement on Monday — the second postponement of this series — let the Yankees switch to their preferred starter (Nestor Cortes), but the delay also means whichever team advances will have no rest ahead of Game 1 of the A.L.C.S. on Wednesday.

  • What: Cleveland Guardians vs. Yankees, Game 5, A.L.D.S.

  • Where: Yankee Stadium

  • When: The game was originally scheduled for Monday night, but rain forced a switch to 4:07 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday.

  • What’s at stake: A trip to the A.L.C.S.

  • How to watch: The game will be broadcast on TBS.

  • How to listen: In the New York City area, the game will be broadcast on WFAN and WADO. In the Cleveland area, it will be on WTAM.

M.L.B. Playoffs: How the Yankees Beat the Guardians in Game 5 of the A.L.D.S. (Published 2022) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 6208

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.