The New York Yankees are moving on. Behind the amazing performance of Nestor Cortes Jr. And with resounding homers from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, the Yankees beat the pesky Cleveland Guardians 5-1 to win Game 5 of the American League Division Series and play their ALCS ticket.
Cortez’s five-inning one-pointer was crucial, and he wasn’t going to start the game. But the series has been altered by a rain delay in Game 2, and pitching considerations became muddled on Monday night. The team reacted differently and the results were different. The Yankees took the opportunity to bring Game 2 starter Cortez back for a short break. The Guardians will stick with planned starter Aaron Civale, who only held on once — struggling under his command and allowing Stanton’s home run.
Cleveland ace and Game 2 starter Sean Bieber didn’t show up. The four Guardian rescuers were allowed just two more runs in the remaining innings, but even that wasn’t enough. Judge’s homer and Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single in the fifth inning gave the Yankees everything they needed.
In the end, the Yankees joined the Astros as the favorite to move on, in stark contrast to the National League — the field’s two lowest-seeded teams, the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies, will begin their run on Tuesday night. NLCS showdown.
The first four games are a very simple story. When Gerrit Cole pitches, the Yankees win. When he didn’t, the Guardians cut in and reached the Yankees’ bullpen — both times hit by rookie Oscar Gonzalez. Kerr didn’t pitch in Game 5, but no such magic is coming.
Cleveland will return to a playoff berth as the youngest baseball team.
Meanwhile, the Yankees will quickly head to Houston to take on the Houston Astros in the ALCS. The first game is Wednesday night.
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