We’ve waited and waited and waited, but it appears as if we will finally get the winner-take-all Game 5 in the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees this afternoon. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET and the weather looks good.
As to who will throw that first pitch, the Yankees have changed their original plans. Jameson Taillon was scheduled to start that game, but following Monday’s postponement, the Yankees will turn to left-hander Nestor Cortes on short rest. Cortes pitched five innings in Friday’s Game 2 at Yankee Stadium and left with a no-decision in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss. Cortes held Cleveland to two runs on six hits. He walked three, struck out three and gave up a homer to Amed Rosario.
Despite the one-day delay, the Guardians will stick with right-hander Aaron Civale as their starting pitcher. It will mark his postseason debut. Civale owns a 4.92 ERA through 20 starts this season. He has faced the Yankees twice in 2022, allowing 10 earned runs in nine innings. You have to imagine that Civale’s leash will be short in this winner-take-all game. Rotation ace Shane Bieber is also on three days of rest, so you should expect to see him in this contest at the first sign of trouble. He allowed two runs on five hits over 5.2 innings in Game 2. He walked three, struck out seven and permitted a two-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning. But he pretty much cruised after that dinger.
The winner of today’s game will advance to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday night at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.