The New York Yankees advance. Behind a stellar performance from Nestor Cortes Jr. and loud circuitry from Giancarlo Stanton and Judge Aaronthe Yankees have mastered the pesky Cleveland Guardians5-1, to win Game 5 of the American League Division Series and clinch their ticket to the ALCS.
Cortes, whose five one-run through runs were crucial, was not originally slated to start this game. But the series, already modified by match 2 rain delay, had his pitching considerations scrambled on Monday night. The teams reacted differently and achieved different results. The Yankees took the opportunity to bring Game 2 starter Cortes back on a short rest. The Guardians will stay with projected starter Aaron Civale, and he lasted just one out – struggling with his command and allowing Stanton homer.
Shane Bieber, Cleveland’s ace and Game 2 starter, did not make an appearance. Four Guardians relievers finished the remaining innings, allowing just two more runs, but even that wouldn’t have been enough. The Judge’s Circuit and an RBI single from Anthony Rizo in the fifth gave the Yankees everything they needed.
Eventually, the Yankees joined the Astros as the favorites advance, in stark contrast to the National League – where the two lowest seeds in the pack, the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillieswill start their NLCS game on Tuesday night.
The first four games were a pretty simple story. When Gerrit Cole pitched, the Yankees won. When he didn’t, the Guardians nibbled and drove to the Yankees bullpen – both times with clutch shots by rookie Oscar Gonzalez. Cole didn’t pitch in Game 5, but there was no such magic to come.
Cleveland will return home after reaching an unexpected playoff berth as baseball’s youngest team.
The Yankees, meanwhile, will travel quickly to Houston to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Game 1 is Wednesday night.
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