Yankees, Cole, MLB Playoffs, postseason roster, New York Yankees

Cole Sends Bombers Back to the Bronx for ALDS Game 5

The Cleveland Guardians had no intentions of returning to the Bronx for a Game 5, but Gerrit Cole had other plans. Cole gave the Yankees the most stellar start of the series thus far with seven very strong innings on Sunday. The ace threw 110 pitches, 77 for strikes.

After a gut-wrenching loss on Saturday night, the Yankees prevailed in a 4-2 victory over the Guardians and took flight shortly after for Game 5. The deciding game will take place Monday night with Jameson Taillon and the Guardians’ Aaron Civale squaring off on the mound at Yankee Stadium.

With this being an elimination game, the stakes are high, but there is no doubt the BX will be bumping from the Judge’s Chambers and the Bleacher Creatures to Nestor’s Café as the Yankees look to advance to the ALCS.

Lineup Adjustments

The postseason is a different animal than the regular season. If there is anything that can be learned from what has occurred across the postseason board, it is: clean the slate and find the sweet spot. Throughout the series, Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been forced to make some adjustments, but I think he’s getting closer to that sweet spot.

  1. Moving Aaron Judge back to the two spot in the lineup

Judge was seemingly folding under the pressure of the leadoff spot, and something needed to change. Since being moved to the two spot, he is making good contact. In Saturday night’s Game 3, he hit a two-run home run. In Sunday night’s Game 4, he had one hit and one run. Prior to the move, he had seven total strikeouts and zero hits in Games 1 and 2.

  1. Moving Oswaldo Cabrera to Shortstop, sitting Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, and substituting with Aaron Hicks

Despite heading into Game 4 tied with Harrison Bader for best batting average this series, IKF's fielding mistakes have been costly. On Saturday, Cleveland scored three-runs for a walk-off win when he threw to third base instead of second on a leadoff blooper to left.

Substituting Hicks was the only move, in my opinion, though fans would go round and round to debate me on that. I believe this to be true because of his above average on-base percentage (.360 in his last 15 games). Home runs are great, but they’re even greater when we have runners on base.

As for Oswaldo Cabrera moving to short, this guy can play anywhere. After all, he is the Wizard of Os.

Game 5 Preview

Jameson Taillon (3.91 ERA) has big shoes to fill in his first start of the series, though he did get the win in his only start versus the Guardians this season, giving up just one earned run. The Guardians will start Aaron Civale (4.92 ERA), who has not yet made a postseason start either. During the regular season, Civale lost two starts against the Yankees, giving up ten total runs and two home runs collectively.

Game 5 will take place Monday at 7:07 p.m. EDT in New York, and can be viewed on TBS. The winner will take on the Houston Astros in the ALCS, with Game 1 set to take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Wednesday, the 19th.

Jonna M. Perlinger

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