For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).
Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit.
The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game.
The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR.
Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games.
Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi.
Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go.
Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning.
The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1.
Judge 2 hits, solo HR.
Stanton 3-run HR.
Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games.
The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out.
Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently)
Game 2 Oct 20 Severino
OCT 21 OFF DAY
Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest)
Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes
Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon
Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino
Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest.
Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest?
For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.
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