NEW YORK -- The momentum has shifted back in New York’s favor -- despite waiting an extra day for the series finale -- as the Yankees forced the American League Division Series to head back to the Bronx for a winner-take-all Game 5, now rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon after Monday night's rainout.
Cleveland has thrived in the underdog role and the Yankees have dominated at home this season, going 57-24. The Guardians knew the odds were stacked against them coming into the year, and the club is hoping to prove that it’s capable of more than anyone imagined with its first trip to the ALCS since 2016. But New York is ready to keep the momentum rolling after waiting nearly two and a half hours after the originally scheduled first pitch on Monday night before the game was called.
“If there is a game being played, we feel like we're in the driver's seat,” Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader said. “That's how we remain dangerous.”
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 5 has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on TBS. All games are available in the U.S. on MLB.TV (authentication to a participating Pay TV provider is required). Live games are also available in select countries outside the U.S. For full details click here.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Guardians: The Guardians announced on Tuesday morning that Aaron Civale (5-6, 4.92 ERA) will make his postseason debut in the win-or-go-home Game 5. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since the last game of the regular season, when he allowed two runs on five hits against the Royals. Civale made two starts against the Yankees this year and neither was overwhelmingly successful, considering he was knocked out after three innings and six runs in April and allowed four runs on five hits (two homers) in six frames in July.
Yankees: Nestor Cortes (12-4, 2.44 ERA) will draw the start on three days’ rest following Monday’s rainout. Cortes last pitched in Game 2 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, when he took a no-decision in the Yanks' 4-2 loss. In five innings, Cortes held Cleveland to two runs and six hits, tossing 64 of 92 pitches for strikes. He permitted a fifth-inning homer to Amed Rosario, walked three and struck out three.
What are the starting lineups?
Guardians: Now that lefty Cortes will toe the rubber for New York, the Guardians made some alterations, moving the righty-swinging Oscar Gonzalez to the cleanup spot and Josh Naylor's lefty bat to fifth. Gabriel Arias and Andrés Giménez also flipped-flopped spots in the order.
Yankees: The Game 4 decision to bench shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa in favor of Oswaldo Cabrera carries over into the Game 5 lineup, as manager Aaron Boone stuck with the rookie who handled everything hit his way with the season on the line on Sunday. That means another start in left field for Aaron Hicks, since Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter still aren’t ready to play defense.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Guardians: The one thing working in Cleveland’s favor is the fact that its bullpen is well-rested. Trevor Stephan, James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase haven’t pitched since Game 2 in New York on Friday, and now with an extra day off, everyone will be fresh. With the season on the line, the team will have an all-hands-on-deck approach, ready to deploy its best arms when needed.
Yankees: It’s all hands on deck for a win-or-winter contest, including the rubber-armed Wandy Peralta, who has now appeared in all four games of this ALDS. Clay Holmes threw 17 pitches in the eighth inning of Game 4 and, even though the Yanks would not bring him into Game 3, manager Aaron Boone confirmed they’d use Holmes in a back-to-back situation if needed. It won’t matter, thanks to Monday's rainout. Even Gerrit Cole offered his services for Game 5, having thrown 110 pitches in Game 4.
Any injuries of note?
Guardians: Naylor is still recovering from jamming his right ankle into first base on Friday night. He’s been limited to a DH role in Games 3 and 4, which will likely remain the case for Game 5.
Yankees: There are no notable injuries on the active roster, but Stanton has yet to play the outfield since sustaining a left Achilles injury in July. Carpenter is also still not in play for full defensive duties, stemming from a left foot fracture sustained on Aug. 8.
Who is hot and who is not?
Guardians: Kwan has hit .412 with a 1.092 OPS in the ALDS thus far. He’s been a consistent force at the top of the Guardians' order and the team will need him to be a sparkplug in the critical Game 5. Although Ramírez has picked up his fair share of hits, the third baseman has made a lot of weak contact over the past few games.
Yankees: Bader hit his third homer of the ALDS in Game 4; he's 4-for-14 in the series, with 13 total bases. Rizzo is also 4-for-14 in the series with a double, homer and three RBIs. Judge (2-for-16, nine strikeouts) and Stanton (1-for-12, five strikeouts) have contributed little. Cabrera is 2-for-15 with eight strikeouts.
Anything else fans might want to know?
• In the history of best-of-five postseason series, teams trailing 2-1 that won Game 4 to stay alive went on to also win Game 5 in 26 of 47 instances (55%). However, in all winner-take-all postseason games, true home teams (excluding neutral-site games) have gone only 61-63 (.492), including 0-1 this year (Mets vs. Padres in Game 3 of the NL Wild Card Series).
• Cleveland has lost seven consecutive winner-take-all games. That's the second-longest streak in postseason history, trailing just the A’s (nine straight from 2000-19).
• Over the past six postseasons (since 2017), the Yankees are 8-5 in potential elimination games, including their win in Game 4.
• Tuesday will be the first day in MLB postseason history where two rounds overlap, as Game 1 of the NLCS between the Phillies and Padres is slated for 8 p.m. ET.