There’s one spot left in the Championship Series, and one game left to decide who gets it. After attempting to wait out rain in New York, MLB moved the winner-take-all Game 5 in the New York Yankees’ and Cleveland Guardians’ American League Division Series to Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. ET.
The series, already altered by a Game 2 rain delay, once again had its pitching considerations scrambled on Monday night. The teams reacted differently. The Yankees took the chance to bring back Game 2 starter Nestor Cortes Jr. on short rest and hold back Jameson Taillon for a potential ALCS Game 1, while the Guardians will stick with planned starter Aaron Civale. That doesn’t mean Cleveland’s Game 2 starter, Shane Bieber, couldn’t emerge from the bullpen in a key moment. The same apparently goes for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who has informed Aaron Boone he is ready to pitch if the situation calls for it.
Two games pushed back by rain creates some whiplash for viewers, as the ALDS will wrap up on the same day the NLCS begins in San Diego.
ALDS Game 5: Guardians (Civale) at Yankees (Cortes) – 4:07 p.m., TBS
NLCS Game 1: Phillies (Wheeler) at Padres (Darvish) – 8:03 p.m., FS1
How did we get here? Well, when Cole has pitched, the Yankees have won. And when he hasn’t pitch, the Guardians have chipped away and gotten to the Yankees bullpen — both times with clutch hits by rookie Oscar Gonzalez.
The winner will face a tight turnaround to square off against the Houston Astros in the ALCS. No matter who wins, they will have to travel to Houston for Game 1 Wednesday night.
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