Yankees vs. Guardians Goals, Takeaways: Gerrit Cole and Harrison Bader help keep the season on track and force ALDS Game 5 to go.

The New York Yankees won Game 4 of the ALDS on Sunday night against the Cleveland Guardians to tie the series 2-2 and play a decisive game in a best-of-five series. Gerrit Cole and Harrison Bader helped save New York’s season with a 4-2 win. Yankees took the lead early on and never fell behind. However, there was some drama in the second half. Let’s see how everything went down. Yankees strikes early, and Bader deepens again. Yankees got on the board before the Guardians even had a chance to hit. Gleyber Torres led the game with a single, stole a second and then scored with Anthony Rizzo on a single. They didn’t wait long to add more, as center fielder Harrison Bader two-pointed in two innings, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Here’s an explosion. At 429 feet, there was no doubt that it was Vader’s third home run in the series. He hit zero in 14 regular season games for the Yankees and hit five in 72 games for the Cardinals before an injury and trade. According to ESPN Stats and Info, he is the third in Yankees history to hit a home run by a center fielder three times in an all-postseason, behind Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams. Cole looked like an ace so that’s why they pay him big bucks, right? Yankees were on the brink of elimination and needed the ace’s big outing to punch the guts of defeat in the third game. Cole went out and worked seven strong innings. The Guardians were able to hit without a hit in the third inning with José Ramírez’s blooper. One explosive run that Cole gave up was a Josh Naylor home run in the 4th inning. Naylor was very excited as he circled his base, calling Cole his “son.” Hey, it doesn’t matter what happens? This is Cole’s eighth consecutive playoff game in which he has allowed a home run and is tied with Darvish for MLB records (via Katie Sharp). Cole then locked it in. He responded by retiring the next 10 batters he faced and 12 of his last 13 batters. Lines: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 8 K. He threw 110 pitches. Game 5 can keep you dreaming. Still, it was a big outing when the Yankees needed it the most. In fact, given the circumstances, it could be argued that this was the biggest outing of Cole’s Yankees career. Also, for a starting pitcher fan who goes deep into the game (hands up!), Cole’s seven points here is the eighth time a starting pitcher has played at least seven innings so far this postseason. There were only four such starts throughout last year’s playoffs (via Sarah Langs). This is a positive trend for the game as a whole, we say here. Yankees lets the Guardians taste his medicine. The way the Guardians put the ball in play came into play in the third game. They found a lot of holes and sometimes even balls that didn’t hit that hard. The first match in Game 4 was similar. This time, the Yankees collected insurance money in a similar way in the early 6th inning. The Aaron jersey reached a grounding infield hit before Anthony Rizzo gently doubled down the left field line. Then Giancarlo Stanton drove the jersey home with a sacrifice fly. Hitting a club home run is much more efficient, but either way works. All runs are counted the same. Holmes, Peralta are closed. The two-run lead was pretty minimal through the eighth, not to mention the Yankees’ bullpen crisis at the end of the year, with the late-inning rally we’ve seen in the Guardians this season. A lot has been made about Clay Holmes not pitching in the third game. He took the bottom of the 8th in this game. He took Steven Kwan one out and tied the score, but Holmes ended the threat by striking out Amed Rosario and Ramírez. In the ninth, the Yankees played with Wandi Peralta. He has already appeared in every game in this series, making his fourth game three days in a row. Even in Game 3, he threw 27 balls. No problem. He ended the situation with two weak ground and strikeouts. Peralta pitched only 7 pitches in this tournament, but Game 5 is his 4th consecutive pitch. Chances are he will compromise. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has revealed that he won’t be using Holmes in a row. So there’s a chance he’ll be out of Game 5 or at least not as sharp as Game 4. All others are possible. The Guardians’ best relief pitchers are fresh The Guardians’ bullpen, which wears a big hat to Cody Morris, who runs 2 innings, and nods towards Jack Flesac (1 run in 1 inning) and Ellie Morgan (1 run in 1 inning) Heading condition is very good. 5th game. Sam Hetges pitched 31 in game 3 and then did not pitch in game 4. Trevor Stephan hasn’t pitched since the second game. Basic setup man James Karinchak hasn’t pitched since the second game. Fresh and ready for overtime missions in Game 5. Emmanuel Clase is the leftmost closer in the playoffs. He also hasn’t pitched since Game 2. In that game, he threw 2 1/3 innings and gave a good example that he could get more than just three outs. We expect Terry Francona to rely heavily on these four pitchers in Game 5 ahead of the season. We’ll do it again next Monday. Only this series will return to Yankee Stadium for a 7:07 PM EST start. Only one Wildcard series has made it to the street and it has been held in New York and this series represents the only division series to go that street. Both teams either win or go home. So the pitching situation is basically “all hands on deck”. Starting pitchers will be Aaron Seabale of the Guardians and Jameson Taylor of the Yankees. The starter (5-6, 4.92) has not played since October 5, but finished the season well (a 3.27 ERA in the last 4 games). Taillon (14-5, 3.91) was a pitcher who lost the second game with three hits and two runs without taking an out in the 10th inning. Still, neither team will plan to start pitching very deeply unless the starting pitcher is completely dominant, especially if the late studs aren’t fresh.
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