About Yesterday: Yankees 5, Guardians 1
October 18, 2022
Monday night's rainout may have given the Yankees a bit of an edge heading into Game 5, but they weren't going to leave any question as to who was the better team. Able to send out Nestor Cortes because of the change in schedule, the Yankees scored early and were able to control the game. Despite a solid series against the Cleveland Guardians, it was the Yankees' pitching that shone on Tuesday, leading the way to a 5-1 win and a date with the Astros.
Nestor Cortes went 5 innings and gave up just one run on three hits and one walk. He struck out two.
Jonathan Loáisiga gave the Yankees two strong innings in relief, scattering three hits and holding Cleveland scoreless.
Giancarlo Stanton put the Yankees in control early with a first-inning, 3-run homer.
Aaron Civale only lasted 0.1 innings, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk hits.
The Big Story:
While Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton haven't hit as much as the Yankees need lately, they both came through with big homers in a win-or-go-home game. Stanton's homer really was the game, as it put the Yankees in front early and Cleveland never seemed to have a chance. If these two hitters can keep this momentum going, the Yankees certainly have a solid chance to beat the Astros.
Player of the Game:
Nestor Cortes pitched on short rest but managed to throw a sharp five innings. He gave up a quick leadoff hit in the first but dominated the next three batters.
The bullpen was the Yankees' strength early in the season and it was again Tuesday. Loáisiga's two scoreless innings, along with a scoreless, hitless inning from Clay Holmes set the scene for Wandy Peralta in the ninth. This marked the first time a pitcher has appeared in all five ALDS games and he did not disappoint. Despite giving up a couple of hits, Peralta took care of the ninth and booked the Yankees' ticket to Houston.
Aaron Judge went 2-4 with a solo homer. He was the only New York player with multiple hits.
Better to Forget:
Oswaldo Cabrera was the only real rough spot in the lineup on Tuesday. He went 0-4 with two Ks.
This was a good series against a solid opponent. Game 5 being pushed back a day may have helped the Yankees take the ALDS, but they controlled the game. They showed a lot of the fight and hunger that you want to see in the postseason, too, which makes me feel optimistic about the ALCS.
Here are a few of my main takeaways:
There is a good energy to this team right now. Stanton, Judge, and Rizzo appear to be a big key to this and as long as that continues, the future bodes well for New York.
Cleveland is going to be a fun team to watch moving forward and they put together a solid season and a great postseason run.
There was certainly room for improvement, as the Yankees only had 6 hits to Cleveland's 8 and struck out 12 times. They also left 17 runners on base.
Unfortunately, Aaron Hicks' season is done. He collided with Cabrera in the third and left the game. An injury to Hicks' knee has him out at least six weeks. While his struggles this year were often front and center, his defense will be missed and he seemed to be finding his groove.
The Yankees face a tough opponent in the Astros, never mind the bad blood between the teams of late. I would suspect it is going to be another good battle, and I like to think that plays in the Yankees' favor. When this team is fighting and winning, they are fun to watch and play like the team they were advertised to.
The Yankees head to Houston for Game 1 of the ALCS. Jameson Taillon
will take the ball for the Yankees. He had a rough first outing this postseason, giving up two runs on three hits without recording an out on October 14th. Meanwhile, the Astros will send out Justin Verlander, who is coming off an ugly start against Seattle. He gave up six runs on six hits and a walk in only 4 innings. Of course, the veteran hurler had another stellar regular season, so he will be looking to return to form. First pitch will be at 7:37 pm.